Three Yugo-Zapad gangsters detained for shooting Konnov’s man 15 years ago
The three detainees used to belong to the powerful Yugo-Zapad gang that had been operating in Mordovia for more than 10 years.
The official website of the local Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that the police had detained three gang members who shot a mobster from another gang in front of his wife on June 19, 2002.
Sergei Varakin, 26, was shot near his building while he was walking towards his car, where his driver and pregnant wife were waiting for him. The attackers were wearing black robes of movers and dark hats with slits for eyes. They shot Varakin 11 times. He died in the hospital.
Varakin was a member of Blokhin’s gang: a breakaway part of the former Yugo-Zapad ("South-West") gang after a conflict between its two leaders: Blokhin and Konnov. The war between the two factions resulted in over 20 Yugo-Zapad members killed or injured.
Varakin’s murder is believed to have come as a response to an attempted murder of Konnov and shooting of his men. In 2010, the Criminal Investigation Department told Vecherny Saransk that it was Sergei Varakin who had ordered his brigade to shoot two Konnov’s mobsters Alexei Egorkin and Igor Krylov near Gymnasium No. 12. One of them died on the spot, the other was wounded, but managed to escape. The incident started the war between Blokhin’s gang and Konnov’s gang.
Yugo-Zapad was established in the late 1980s in the Leninsky district of Saransk. The gang operated in the capital of Mordovia and its districts for years, dealing in protection racket and brutally punishing those who refused to pay.