What Celentano will be accountable for 

What Celentano will be accountable for
Anatoly Radchenko is charged with 6 articles of the Criminal Code backed by years of bloody mayhem Photo: The CrimeRussia

On the last day of the summer in Novosibirsk, the trial of the leader of the killer brigade, Anatoly Radchenko, better known in the Siberian Region as Celentano, began. Contrary to the big kingpins’ unspoken tradition of trusting their fate to the jury, Radchenko, who initially demanded a jury trial, refused his idea, having withdrawn the relevant motion at a preliminary court session. It is not improbable that he understood – after the elimination of the Trunov gang and the disclosure of the details of all of its crimes, the chances of proving his innocence to 12 people's judges are reduced to zero.

The case of Celentano is now considered by judge Anna Turchenko behind closed doors. This decision was made for safety of the trial participants. It is possible that the trial can be delayed for a year, or even more: the materials of the investigation amount to 163 volumes, it is planned to interrogate about 300 witnesses, including those involved in other cases of the Trunov OCG. Anatoly Radchenko is charged under 6 articles of the criminal code, he is accused of a number of serious crimes, including banditry, the creation and management of the criminal community, murders and murder attempts, illegal firearms and ammunition trafficking. Radchenko was also involved in extortion from an entrepreneur in the period from 1991 to 1998, the purpose of which was to obtain property on a large scale, theft by defrauding a share in the authorized capital of Center-Sistema LLC, an attempt to steal by defrauding a share in the authorized capital of Barkhat LLC. All this was committed in the organized criminal group. 

On the paper, it seems like a boring list of crimes, however, in reality, there were years of bloody lawlessness, in which the members of the now convicted Aleksandr Trunov’s (Trun) gang, were involved in Novosibirsk. It is no coincidence that in the history of gangster Russia the Trunov’s gang will forever remain as one of the most violent and strong regional criminal communities. According to police records, the gang officially began its activities, for some reason in 1997. In fact, the gang has already been active in full swing in Novosibirsk. In reality, the ‘Trunov’ community was created in the early 80's – as an association specializing in racketeering beginner co-operators and merchants. It was headed by Aleksandr Trunov, who united fellow racketeers Kolya Russkikh, Mikhail Nagibov (Lyaka), and Vladimir Yermolin (Yermola). The four of them quickly recruited a brigade of militants, terrorizing currency traders and merchants from the Gusinobrodsky market. Initially, Trun and his people specialized in providing protection for stalls and video distribution kiosks, even if the assets of the 'stall' were not more than 200 video cassettes. It was not the sum, but the principle that was important – there is a landlord on the district and he collects money – otherwise, a soldering iron, a trip into the woods in the trunk or death – a standard set of measures to influence the intractable in the dashing 90s. But over time, the bandits, like any criminal community, evolved. The core of the group consisted of about 30 people. However, during the heyday of its activities, the OCG had 150-200 members – former commandos, athletes, police officers and even officials. According to the expert, 2-3 'fractions' of the organized crime group, after the beginning of the dissociation, joined other kingpins. Now, the former OCG members are engaged in business. At the turn of the 90s and 00s, the criminal group spread its influence over the political and economic spheres of the region. In the community itself, there was a conditional division into separate structures, each of which was specializing in its own direction. Including the murders. The brigade of assassins was established in 1997. It was one of the four structural units of the OCG. In addition to the killer gang, the criminal organization included the groupings of Vitaly Shvetsov and Khasan Ganeev. Shvetsov’s division was responsible for the safety of the OCG’s leaders, Ganeev’s – for the safety and replenishment of the 'common fund'. The economic 'division' of the group was managed by Vice-Mayor of Novosibirsk, Aleksandr Solodkin.


Aleksandr Trunov in his heyday

The gang of liquidators was headed by Anatoly Radchenko, a young athlete with a craving for god and art (parts of his biography, connections and acquaintances from the beginning of the criminal saga up to his extradition and trial were outlined in many media in recent years). Radchenko returned from Moscow to his native Novosibirsk in the mid-90's after graduating from the capital's Institute of Culture and Arts. Probably, it is for the love of the Italian stage, and perhaps for the textural appearance (in his life there were cases when he was mistaken for the actor), Radchenko got the nickname Celentano. The promising criminal took a little time to win Trunov's trust and become his right hand. 

Specialists engaged in the intelligence work against the Leninskaya OCG note that Radchenko committed his first murder in order to prove his devotion to Trunov – he killed a man detested by the leader of the OCG. After that, from the ordinary members of the group, he moved up to the leader’s immediate circle. Analytical mindset, the ability to easily establish and maintain the right acquaintances among policemen, politicians and businessmen, the ability to make quick decisions and ask hard for their implementation resulted in Celentano’s rapid career rise in the criminal group. He was appointed as head of the so-called 'power block'. It included a stable armed group, units for intelligence gathering, for guarding the leaders, for providing the members with weapons and even for committing crimes in the economic sphere. In addition to weapons, the members of the gang had radio sets, listening and other devices. The most elite and conspiratorial unit of this division – the killer group – consisted of four militants: Andrey Ivanov, Sergey Komarnitsky, Vitaly Zaitsev, and Dmitry Buol. These people regularly underwent fire training at one of the military training grounds of the Novosibirsk Region to maintain their form. In their arsenal, there were 40 weapons. Celentano himself developed a plan for each crime, provided the perpetrators with weapons and transport. According to the security forces, from 1997 to 2009 (the officially recognized years of the existence of Trunov’s gang), the gang killed four criminal leaders and businessmen and committed four more attempts that failed. The court now has to prove Radchenko's involvement in the murders of M. Nagibov in 1997, B. Gelashvili in 2000, A. Dabeev in 2002, N. Akenshin in 2004, the attempted murder of F. Khachatryan in 1999, E. Syadchikov in 2003 and A. Bozhenko in 2004.buol.jpg

Nagibov and Nikolay Akenshin – were the active  members of Trunov’s gang, who wanted to quit the game under the leadership of Trun and start an autonomous criminal business. But inside the community there were strict rules of conduct. Failure to comply with the leader’s instructions was punished up to death. The way out of it was also possible either by the so-called 'manumission' issued by Trunov, or through death. Lyaka (Mikhail Nagibov), the holder of the thieves' common fund and a man with whom Trunov nightmarized commerce in the mid-1980s, left the group in this way. October 18, 1997 he was shot at the entrance of his house in plain view of his wife. By the way, this was the first murder committed by the Chelentano hitman Dmitry Buol. According to Buol's confession, the order to get rid of Nagibov was given to him directly by Anatoly Radchenko, who promised the personal patronage of Alexander Trunov in the event of execution of the order. Buol could not refuse, because he owed Celentano money. Moreover, in the case of refusal, he could have been killed himself. In exchange for the murder, Buol was not only forgiven his debt, but was also paid. And subsequently, he received paid orders more than once. Criminal authority Nikolay Akenshin (Kesha), Trunov’s former associate and later his rival, became another victim of such an order in March 2004. Kamarnitsky and Buol were waiting for Akenshin near the garage and fired several bursts of an improvised submachine gun. Making sure that the victim is dead, they disappeared from the crime scene.   

Bagrad Gelashvili (Zaza Gogoladze), who was killed in 2000, became, one can say, an accidental victim. The plan was to get rid of thief in law Mamuka Shubitidze. He had the imprudence to propose to Trunov to transfer part of the criminal profits to the heating for prison camps on the monthly basis. In case of refusal, he hinted at revenge from thieves' clans. Trunov did not think over a response for a long time and instructed Celentano’s fighters to deal with the issue once and for all. The murder of Mamuka was to be indicative for other thieves in law, so that no one else had a desire to dictate their conditions to the gang. On July 30 (Mamuka’s birthday), the gang arrived at the crime scene, the suburban dacha of the potential victim in Nizhnyaya Yeltsovka. Dmitry Buol was to ensure unimpeded retreat to the killer (Komarnitsky). He made five aimed shots from the Kalashnikov assault rifle, but mistakenly shot Bagrad Gelashvili, a Georgian citizen, who was sitting at the head of the table as the main guest (usually Mamuka himself took that place). From the received wounds, Gelashvili died in the hospital.

Aleksey Dabeyev, a former member of Labotsky-Shkabara’s Kuzbass gang, also became a victim of Radchenko’s brigade (the CrimeRussia has recently reported on this crime). At the time of the murder, Dabeyev, who had recently been released from the colony, served as head of the security service of one of the Novosibirsk plants. On March 14, 2002, the killers ambushed Dabeyev when he, together with Sergey Frolov (member of the Kuzbass criminal community) left the restaurant Rostiks in the center of Novosibirsk, and opened fire. Dabeyev died on the spot, Frolov was wounded. One of the bullets stuck in a mobile phone, which saved the man's life. Initially, the crime was associated with the official activities of the deceased, then – with revenge from the mafia boss from the Kuzbass town of Osinniki, Valery Rozhkov, because of the conflict about a crashed car. Shortly before the incident, Dabeyev left to repair his Mercedes in which he got into an accident at the vehicle service station controlled by Rozhkov. And the latter, after bringing the vehicle in order began to drive it himself until got into another accident. And he refused to compensate Dabeyev the cost of the car. But in this version there was one discrepancy – Frolov, who got under fire with Dabeyev, was Rozhkov's man. The truth about the murder of Aleksey Dabeyev became known only after the arrested members of Trunov's gang began to testify. They received the order from the ex-kingpin from Kuzbass, who at that time was the newly emerged Novosibirsk businessman, Mikhail Kolmogorov (Chebotar). It turned out that at the end of 1998, after a drunken quarrel with two businessmen from Novosibirsk, Aleksandr Pridnya and Sergey Sidorov, Chebotar summoned Dabeyev, who at one time was a member of the Labotsky-Shkabara’s gang, and ordered the murder of the merchants. A few years later, in order to cut off all the strings connecting him to the criminal past, the law-abiding businessman and deputy Mikhail Kolmogorov, with the help of Radchenko's killers, eliminated a man who could spoil his commercial-political take-off and send him to prison.

Between these successful contract killings, Anatoly Radchenko's killers also experienced some misfires. And now, the surviving victims will testify against Celentano in the courtroom. One of them is businessman Frunzik Khachatryan, the leader of the Armenian diaspora. Khachatryan was sentenced for refusing to pay tribute to the gang – they demanded $40,000 a month from a businessman who owned a large clothing market. On June 18, 1999, a killer engaged fire on Khachatrayn’s Grand Cherokee in Zaeltsovsky Bor. However, the businessman somehow miraculously noticed a person with a machine gun (at first, he mistook him for a traffic policeman) and managed to duck – two bullets hit the headrest of the front passenger seat of the car. Khachatryan with his drivers were wounded but managed to leave the crime scene. Subsequently, Trunov’s gang more than once committed attacks on the intractable merchant, burned his vehicles, but did not achieve the desired result.

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Frunzik Khachatryan

Yevgeny Syadchikov (Zayats) miraculously escaped death in 2003. Unknown people were watching the man near the house and shot him from the TT pistol. Two bullets hit the chest. For some reason, the standard control shot to the head was not fired. At that time, Syadchikov was listed as an assistant to the director of the Central Market of Novosibirsk – the trading area, which was divided among between the Leninskaya OCG (controlled by Trunov) and Pervomaiskaya OCG. And Syadchikov, more loyal to the latter, almost fell victim to this redistribution.

On February 20, 2004 in the area near metro Studencheskaya, there was an attempt on the prominent businessman Andrey Bozhenko. Bozhenko was seriously wounded, while the casual victim was local businessman Yevgeny Lisov. The murderer decided not to leave any witnesses, so he first shot Lisov, and then fired five bullets at Bozhenko. One version of the assassination, which later confirmed was the following: businessman Bozhenko was considered a financier of the Trunov's OCG, but also had his own sources of income. According to the Novosibirsk branch of the Federal Commission for the Securities Market, on October 23, 2000 Andrey Bozhenko was the sole owner of Zapsibmebel CJSC. Information about the shareholders of Zapsibmebel CJSC is not disclosed at the moment. In 2003, the company acquired facilities of the bankrupt factory NovosibirskMebel in the center of Novosibirsk and built an elite residential complex Solaris in their place. Zapsibmebel acted as a general contractor for the construction of the Granit shopping complex, which grew on the site of the wild market on the Marx Square. Bozhenko who gained power in economic and political environment (and who is also a relative of a high-ranking Novosibirsk official) became an undesirable figure to Trunov. In addition, Anatoly Radchenko, according to convicted killer Roman Kuznetsov, who was directly working for Radchenko, began showing interest in Andrey Bozhenko’s commercial structures. Against the backdrop of dissatisfaction with his financier from Trun and wanting to gain control over a number of commercial organizations owned by Bozhenko, Celentano ordered the murder of the latter.

Since 2009, when the arrests of the members of the Trunov group began, Radchenko went into hiding. He was detained only in 2014 on the territory of the Austrian Republic (where he lived on a fake Czech passport in the name of a resident of Prague, Jan Seidl), and in 2015, after long negotiations with the Austrian side, Radchenko was extradited to Russia. During this time, Aleksandr Trunov himself was convicted of other crimes committed by the OCG, and Alexander Solodkin, the former adviser to the administration of the Novosibirsk Region, and his son, the former deputy mayor of Novosibirsk, Alexander Solodkin, along with the former deputy head of the FSSC, Andrey Andreev, were convicted of involvement in the criminal group. 


Solodkin Sr. and Jr. 

Radchenko himself does not admit any of the charges brought against him. Having an illegal status, he recorded video messages in which he stated that neither he nor Solodkin had anything to do with the criminal world, and all that he was charged with was a purposeful action on the part of certain law enforcement agencies to slander his name and take over his business. "After their reports on combating crime, many enterprises, in the creation of which I took part from scratch, were captured. Everything works up to this day and brings a fabulous profit," this is how Radchenko explains his position now. If the prosecution succeeds in proving its allegations, Celentano faces a life sentence. 

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Solodkin Jr. and Celentano

By the way, there is an episode in the biography of the killer group leader, when he almost went to jail. In 2006, Radchenko was detained on suspicion of murdering a senior lieutenant of the Dzerzhinsky police department, Aleksandr Zaitsev. The criminals attacked with baseball bats and iron bars the policeman and four other people, who as a resulted ended up in the hospital. The investigators tended to the fact that this was a fight of two criminal groups. And, if more precisely, Radchenko, with his people, took revenge for an organized attempt on him personally. Unknown people fired at the car in which he was and wounded him. However, Celentano did not stay long in the pre-trial detention center. After he got a bible with a cross and a mobile phone in his cell, Radchenko found connections with the right people. And soon, after apologies, he was released and recognized completely innocent.




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