Lost highway. 90s' mobs and thieves in law perish in car accidents 

Lost highway. 90s' mobs and thieves in law perish in car accidents
Russian criminal world members who survived the dashing 90s become victims of car accidents Photo: The CrimeRussia

A week ago, ‘authoritative’ entrepreneur Stepan Milovanov and his old friend, master of sports of the USSR in judo Serge Ignatenko, as well as his two sons, died in a terrible car accident between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg. According to some reports, the company was in a hurry to the gathering. The CrimeRussia found out how the representatives of Russian criminal world members who survived the dashing 90s become victims of car accidents due to their own or someone else's negligence, drunk driving, or the desire to scorch.

16-17 thousand people, both drivers, and pedestrians, have died every year in Russia as a result of road accidents. Neither a good car with a high level of safety nor a thorough observance of traffic rules can save you. Frequently, silverspooners-racers on Ferrari and Maserati, provoke fatal accidents, but the culprit of 5 deaths at once may become the trunk driver.

The last tragedy occurred a week ago at the 108th kilometer of the Yekaterinburg-Chelyabinsk highway in the Kasli district of the South Ural region.






The driver of the Volvo truck allowed the trailer to enter the oncoming lane, as a result of which it collided with the following TATA manipulator, Range Rover Defender SUV, and Gazelle truck. As a result of the accident, an SUV driver, born in 1960, and passengers in the cabin, 1962, 1987, 1997, were injured. Also, 36-year-old car driver of TATA died at the scene of the accident. The driver of Gazelle got injured.

It soon became clear that Chelyabinsk crime boss Stepan Milovanov, known as Styopa, was driving the SUV, and his two sons (adopted, 31, and native, 21 years old) and the famous Chelyabinsk coach judo, master of sports of the USSR Sergey Ignatenko were at the car.


Sergey Ignatenko

On the fact of the accident, a criminal case was initiated under part 5 of Art. 264 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Violation of Traffic Rules resulting in the death of two or more persons). The case was transferred to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Chelyabinsk region, and the driver of the truck, a citizen of Kazakhstan, was arrested by the court for two months because he could put pressure on witnesses or try to escape.

The accident caused a loud public reaction. For the sake of the safety of the Ural drivers, a request was sent to governors of the Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk regions Boris Dubrovsky and Yevgeny Kuyvashev by well-known Urals journalist Alexander Polozov. According to him, this is nor the first and neither the last tragedy on this stretch of road, which still does not correspond to the level of congestion of the highway between the two Ural megalopolises.

Polozov notes that motorists are often forced to make overtaking on a two-lane stretch of 40 km, and with the increased traffic that has been observed recently, this causes risks. Moreover, the driver was not convinced that the car was in good condition (it is known that different tires were set on it), and the weather conditions were unfavorable. But the chances of surviving would be much higher if the engineering arrangement of the route corresponded to its actual status.

Another reason why the accident with the five dead attracted the increased interest of the local media was the identity of the driver of Defender – it was mob from 90s’ Stepan Milovanov (Styopa). According to some data, Milovanov played an important role in the Governor’s career of Mikhail Yurevich in the 1990s, providing him with patronage.


Mikhail Valerievich Yurevich (born February 13, 1969, Chelyabinsk, USSR) is a Russian politician and businessman. He was the deputy of the State Duma of Russia of the III and IV convocations. In 1995-2000 - Chairman of the Boards of Directors of the Makfa Agricultural and Industrial Holding, which included the Makfa Factory, Khlebokombinat No. 1, Sosnovsky Bread Products Plant, Temp-AvtoTech ATP, and other enterprises. In 1997, he was recognized as the Man of the Year as the best organizer of industrial production in the city of Chelyabinsk. He was also the Head of Chelyabinsk (2005–2010), the Governor of the Chelyabinsk region (2010–2014). On March 16, 2017, a criminal case was initiated against Yurevich over taking bribes totaling 26 million rubles. In early May 2017, Yurevich was put on the international wanted list, and on May 24, the Sverdlovsk Regional Court issued a warrant for his arrest in absentia. He is hiding from the investigation abroad. According to the police reports of the late 1990s, acquaintance and friendship with Milovanov, who at that time was the leader of several gangs, helped Yurevich to step out of business into power.

According to the register, the 58-year-old individual entrepreneur and co-founder of Status 33 LLC (Milovanov owned 51% of LLC) was previously co-owner of several other firms. For example, in the early 2000s, he held 16.67% in Trigor i K LLC.


On the eve of Milovanov’s death, Status 33 went through a bankruptcy procedure, and according to Ural media reports, the entrepreneur and sons hurried to Yekaterinburg to meet with friends and partners. The source of Znak.com notes that the sons were engaged in the legal business of Styopa, who served as a cover for criminal activity. In particular, the Status 33 company is called one of the drug supply shields of trafficking from Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, and Styopa was the organizer of illegal tie-in to the oil product pipeline in the village of Novosineglazovo. Also, the mob is accused of some contract killings of Chelyabinsk businessmen and top managers of the Togliatti automobile plant, with which Styopa was running his business.

The investigation is still finding out what the famous trainer did at the car’s saloon.

The current criminal status of Styopa (operatives say that he has departed from the criminal world in recent years, but is still considered as the mob), attracted additional attention to this tragedy. But taking into account the death rate in car accidents in the country (499.791 people died between 2000 and 2016), it’s not surprising that no one is safe.

Crime lords perish by their own or someone else's fault, often ‘kill’ their comrades and relatives.

The CrimeRussia gives a retrospective of thieves in law’s deaths in car accidents.

In December 2009, ZIL truck knocked down crowned by thieves in law Yaponchik, Ded Hasan, Pichuga and Timur Sverdlovsky, mob Vasily Stancha (Vasya Moldavan) in the Yaroslavl region. A native of Moldova changed the wheel of his Chrysler on the Moscow-Kholmogory highway, the driver of the heavy truck knocked him down. Vasya Moldavan died on the spot; his companion suffered severe injuries.


Vasya Moldavan

In July 2014, the permanent curator of the largest in Russia Solntsevskaya gang, 77-year-old thief in law Dzhemal Khachidze, tragically died as a result of a traffic accident. Khachidze, who usually used the driver’s services, got behind the wheel but lost control.


Dzhemal Khachidze and Solntsevskaya gang members

On February 5, 2015, Saratov thief in law Noah Tsulai, who had almost 40 years of thievish experience, died in a car accident on the 313 km of the road in the Putyatin district. Nissan car, where Noah was sitting on the passenger seat, crashed into a cargo MAZ in the oncoming lane. The mob was hospitalized but died in the hospital. The female driver survived. Another passenger died on the spot.



In February 2018, at the place of the death of Noah Tsulai, another person was killed. And in November 2018, the fatal accident occurred at the 279th kilometer of the R-22 Caspian highway near Ryazan. There were three victims.

In the Kirovsky district of Saratov, where the mob lived, he is still remembered. If during his life, the road, broken by KAMAZ vehicles, was regularly repaired, then after his death, everyone forgot about the repair. According to the Saratov TV, the thief in law allocated considerable personal funds to maintain it in decent condition.



Just a month after the death of Noah Tsulai, the brother of the thief in law, Vladimir Vagin, known in criminal circles as Vagon, died. The driver of Chevrolet drove into oncoming traffic when overtaking a heavy truck, where the car collided with Lada Priora, which was driven by the brother of Vagin. He and another passenger were fatally injured. Two other passengers of the same car got hurt. Vagon was discovered hanged under unknown circumstances in September 2018 in the cell of Perm IK-11.




The accident spot, where Vagon's brother deceased

In August 2016, the news about the death of a son of Krasnoyarsk mob Vilor Struganov, known by the name Pasha Tsvetomuzyka, was spread in social networks. 27-year-old Boris Struganov was killed in a terrible accident, at a time when his father was already in prison. Vilor Struganov was involved in the organization of explosions, robberies, extortion, and abductions in the 90s. In 2016, the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court sentenced Struganov to 18 years - he already served 11 of the time.


Pasha Tsvetomuzyka's son

In July 2018, a fatal accident occurred in Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk region. BMW X5, behind the wheel of which was local crime boss Viktor Koryagin, known as the Valentinovsky shooter, collided with a Daewoo Lanos passenger car, which driver deceased. After the accident, four people including the driver left the scene. Subsequently, one of the passengers was detained, the rest managed to escape. About a year earlier, a tragic accident occurred on the Gorlovka-Donetsk highway in the Donbass, which resulted in the death of an entire family.



As reported in social networks, Igor Yumatov, local crime boss Lom, hurried to his mother after she underwent the surgery at the hospital, according to some sources, and crashed at high speed. On the same day, Yumatov's mother died at the hospital.



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