Orekhovskie gang in play again. Gang 'treasurer' accused of attempted murder of anti-corruption cop committed 20 years ago 

Orekhovskie gang in play again. Gang 'treasurer' accused of attempted murder of anti-corruption cop committed 20 years ago
Well-known Odintsovo businessman detained after testimonies of Sergei Butorin sentenced to life in prison Photo: The CrimeRussia

Two decades after the ‘turbulent 1990s’, a skeleton has been found in the closet of a respected businessman from the Moscow region. Sergei Vyalkov is suspected of complicity in an assassination attempt committed against a deputy head of a MIA department for combating organized crime back in 1998. Sergei Butorin, ex-leader of Orekhovo-Medvedkovskie organized criminal group sentenced to life in prison has testified against the businessman. Vyalkov was named the gang ‘treasurer’.

53-year-old Odintsovo businessman Sergei Vyalkov has been arrested on suspicion of complicity in an assassination attempt against a police officer. Vyalkov is a respected entrepreneur – he and his relatives own some 20 companies, including large Avtomoll (Auto Mall) market, SV Fitness Club, Dilizhans (Diligence) Restaurant, Pravilny Gorod (Right City) Management Company, etc. In addition, Sergei Vyalkov is involved into community activities: he is a member of the Public Council of the Town of Odintsovo, Chairman of the Fund for Support of Edinaya Rossia (United Russia) Party, and member of its local political council.

Basmanny District Court of Moscow has detained Sergei Vyalkov until March 9 in the framework of the investigation of the attempted murder of Nikolai Petrov, former Deputy Head of the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Administration for the Central Administrative District of the City of Moscow of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation. According to Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, the businessman has been charged under Article 317 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (encroachment on the life of an officer of a law-enforcement agency). 

Interestingly, the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office had asked not to remand Vyalkov in custody because the evidence of his guilt is questionable. However, the court decided to detain the suspect. 

Should the guilt of the businessman be proven, he faces 12 to 20 years behind bars or life in prison.

Сергей Вялков

Sergei Vyalkov

The attack on the police officer was committed on December 3, 1998 in Moscow. Nikolai Petrov was going to work – while the assassins were waiting for him in a KIA minibus standing near Sviblovo subway station. The shooter was aiming for the head but missed – and the bullet has scraped the neck and ear. The assailants were not caught in hot pursuit and a week later, the operatives started busting the hell out of the Moscow criminal world. In the course of a large-scale operation, 5 thieves-in-law and 9 criminal ‘authorities’ were arrested, including Amiran Sopromadze (Sopotia) and Georgy Uglava (Takhi). Although their complicity in the attack on Petrov was not proven, overall, the raids have brought some results. 

A week later, the operatives have reported the solution of the crime. The investigators have found out that brothers Grigoryan trading at a wholesale market in Novokosino neighborhood were the killers. The suspects confessed that they were not aware of the victim’s name. A fellow countryman had offered them to “deal with one person” for $10 thousand. Only on the next day, the brothers have learned from the news that their target was a Deputy Head of the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the MIA Administration for the Central Administrative District of the City of Moscow. After their arrest in a rented apartment, one of the brothers – Vitaly Grigoryan – told that he has purchased a pistol for $50 from some Ashot Dabrielyan. After the arrest of Dabrielyan, it turned out that he was on the wanted list for a murder committed in Armenia.

The investigators have found out that the assassins’ paymaster was some Arsavit Manukyan, a “prominent figure” in the Armenian diaspora. Kommersant newspaper wrote that he was put on the wanted list – but there were no reports of his arrest. 

Nikolai Petrov is currently a retiree, he does not serve in the MIA anymore. However, 19 years after the attempted murder, a new version has appeared in the case: Sergei Vyalkov became a suspect in that crime. 

A business partner of the Odintsovo entrepreneur has confirmed his arrest to The CrimeRussia but refused to discuss any details. Sergei Butorin (Osya), ex-leader of Orekhovo-Medvedkovskie organized criminal group, one of the most bloody gangs of the 1990s, has testified against Sergei Vyalkov.

Сергей Буторин (Ося)

Sergei Butorin (Osya)  


Orekhovskie organized criminal group was one of the most influential gangs of the 1990s. It was created by Sergei Timofeev (Sylvester). Timofeev has united under his rule many gangs, including large Medvedkovskie and Kurganskie groups, and his commercial interests had encompassed the most profitable spheres. In 1994, the Sylvester’s Mercedes was blown up. In 1997, Sergei Butorin (Osya), one of the gang ‘brigadiers’, has seized the power with support of influential gang members brothers Pylev. By now, the law enforcement authorities have effectively busted Orekhovskie gang. In 2011, Moscow City Court has found Butorin guilty of 38 murders and leadership of a criminal community and sentenced him to life in prison. Dmitry Belkin (Belok) was the last ‘authority’ from Orekhovskie gang remaining on the loose; he was on the international wanted list for more than 10 years. In October 2014, Belkin and Oleg Pronin (Al Capone), killer of Orekhovskie, were found guilty of murders and attempted murders. Belkin was sentenced to life in a maximum security penal colony, while Oleg Pronin – to 24 years in a maximum security penal colony.

Sergei Vyalkov was named the ‘treasurer’ of Orekhovskie gang. His success story is inseparably linked with Aleksander Gladyshev, perpetual Head of the Odintsovo District in 1991–2013. Famous Rublevka and Gorki settlements, as well, as mansions of the Russian ‘high society’ are located in that district. Timur Klinovsky, an active member of Orekhovskie criminal group, has contacted Gladyshev and established fruitful ‘partnership’ with him. Gang members had acquired for next to nothing best lands in most prestigious areas – and later, elite cottage communities were built there. Klinovsky, in turn, had patronized the district head on behalf of the criminal world. Gladyshev got hooked on dividends received from land sales to ‘right’ people and started allocating lands to high-ranked enforcement functionaries as well – they were covering up his illegal schemes. For more than 20 years, Gladyshev had remained the absolute sovereign of the Odintsovo district. 

Another well-known businessman, Sergei Zhurba, has also made a fortune in the Odintsovo district. Orekhovskie gang was involved into the creation of his Odintsovskoe Podvorie market. However, later the businessman and criminals have split over and Zhurba started opposing the powerful organized criminal group and personally Dmitry Belkin. Five people linked with Sergei Zhurba were killed in recent years, while he has survived several assassination attempts.

Вялков и Журба

Sergei Vyalkov (in the center) and Sergei Zhurba (on the right) (справа)

Amid his collaboration with Orekhovskie gang, Gladyshev became a friend of Sergei Vyalkov. Being the owner of a restaurant and a casino, Vyalkov had been throwing parties for the district head on first demand. He had also paid for foreign trips of Gladyshev and covered his other expenses. In the meantime, Vyalkov was developing his business in the Odintsovo district. He had always advertised his public activities and philanthropy and even run for the local council of deputies. His daughter has married prominent politician Eduard Krustkaln.    


Eduard Krustkaln was born in 1957 in Riga. Graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Moscow State University. In 2001, graduated from the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Worked in Novosti (News) Press Agency and administrative structures of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Cabinet of Ministers of the USSR. In 1993–1995, worked in the Ministry for Collaboration with CIS Countries of the Russian Federation. In 1995–2000, worked as an advisor and aide to Prime Ministers of the Russian Federation and their deputies. Up until 2013, was a Deputy Chairman, Head of Administration, and Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Chairman of the Russian Chamber of Audit. Since September 7, 2015, Head of the Representation Office of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudichestvo) in Kyrgyzstan.

It can’t be ruled out that the family ties of Vyalkov have saved Gladyshev from criminal prosecution for land machinations.

Эдуард Крусткалн

Eduard Krustkaln  

In 2013, the Russian Chamber of Audit has completed a large-scale probe in the Odintsovo district. The auditors have concluded that during the rule of Aleksander Gladyshev, the majority of public lands were acquired by commercial companies and individuals for next to nothing. Violations affecting in total 12,925 ha of land have been identified in the district. A large portion of these lands was appropriated by Timur Klinovsky, former ‘authority’ of Orekhovskie criminal group, gang ‘treasurer’ Sergei Vyalkov, lawyer Dmitry Yakubovsky (General Dima), and other dubious persons. However, the ‘concerned parties’ managed to lay hands on the first version of the Chamber of Audit’s report pertaining to the period when Eduard Krustkaln was employed with it. As a result, all references to Klinovsky and his partners have disappeared from the document. Then Gladyshev has reviewed the auditors’ report. Ultimately, he managed to avoid prosecution – although the district head was summoned to the Investigations Directorate in the Moscow Region of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) in relation to the re-zoning of forest fund lands into settlement lands. 

On December 23, 2013, Gladyshev has announced his voluntary resignation at a session of the Council of Deputies of the Odintsovo District. It can’t be ruled out that over time, more convicted gangsters decide to share information about shady deeds committed in the district during the rule of Gladyshev.

Александр Гладышев и Сергей Вялков

Aleksander Gladyshev (in the center) and Sergei Vyalkov (on the right)

Now the investigators have to find out whether Nikolai Petrov, ex-Deputy Head of the Department for Combating Organized Crime of the MIA Administration for the Central Administrative District of the City of Moscow, had indeed crossed the path of Orekhovskie criminal group and what was the role of Sergei Vyalkov in the assassination attempt committed against him. It is not quite clear why has Sergei Butorin decided to turn in a fellow gang member. Perhaps, the investigators had promised Osya to improve his confinement conditions?

Overall, this entire story seems weird because the murder has been officially solved a long time ago. However, according to relatives of the businessman, he had expected the attention from law enforcement structures and was looking for a good lawyer recently.




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