Who cannot be called. Who scares bloody killer Celentano more than prison?
In Novosibirsk, the trial of the last arrested member of Trunovsky OCG – Celentano – the head of the killers of the most influential criminal group of Trunov, is being completed. For the second year round, more than a hundred witnesses tell how gangsters had the real power in the region for almost two decades. And again, the same feeling as during the trials of other leaders of the organized criminal group and their assistants Solodkins: the main characters of the story remain in the shadows. Neither the investigators, nor the witnesses, nor even the accused mention their names. Who among those involved in the cases of the Trunovsky is still so powerful that even the bloody killer from the nineties is afraid of him?
The Novosibirsk Regional Court continues to hear the case of the gangland businessman Anatoly Radchenko. He is accused of leading the killer brigade of the famous Trunovsky crime group.
Radchenko, better known by the nickname Celentano, was the last detainee in the Trunovsky case. In 2009, after Trunov’s arrest, Celentano hid from law enforcement officers and lived in Thailand for a while. Then about three years, from 2009 to 2012, he lived in the small town of Kassel, located in the outback of Germany. And settling in Austria, began to observe all the fasts, regularly went to church. However, Celentano did not get a chance to get used to the new image: Interpol officers and police officers of the MIA for the Siberian Federal District detained Radchenko with the assistance of the Austrian special division Cobra. It turned out that the former brigadier of the Trunovsky OCG used a fake Czech passport in the name of a resident of Prague, Jan Seidl, born in 1977. By the way, Russia had to seek Celentano's extradition for a long year and a half: Radchenko assured that in the Russian jail he would face inevitable death, since he holds compromising information on influential people of Novosibirsk.
Today, Radchenko is alive and healthy. He was charged with participation in the criminal community (part 1 of Art. 210 of the Russian Criminal Code), extortion (part 3 of Art. 163), four murders (items “a”, “e”, “d”, “g” and "h" part 2 of Art. 105), three attempted murders (part 3 of Art. 30, part 2 of Art. 105), illegal acquisition of weapons (part 3 of Art. 222), and fraud (part 4 of Art. 159) committed by an organized group of persons. If Radchenko is found guilty of everything that he is accused of, he can go to jail for the rest of his life.
In 1997-2009, the Trunovsky OCG was engaged in murders, illicit arms trafficking, and fraud, controlling half of Novosibirsk. In 2013, the Novosibirsk Regional Court sentenced the leader of the group, the authoritative businessman Alexander Trunov. The court found him guilty of organizing a criminal community and sentenced him to 22 years in prison in a penal colony. Together with Trunov another seven of his former subordinates went to jail. According to the testimony of the witnesses, the criminal group consisted of 200-300 people. So, Sergey Zakuzenny, by his own testimony, controlled the collection of fees from retail outlets, Vitaly Shevtsov was responsible for protecting the leaders of the group, Hasan Ganeyev ensured the safety and replenishment of the common fund. But special attention to the loudest trial in the history of Novosibirsk was attracted by the positions of those who were part of the “economic bloc” of the group. Regional officials and siloviki of the highest rank turned out to be patrons of the Trunovsky OCG. In 2015, the court found that the vice-mayor of Novosibirsk Alexander Solodkin, his father Alexander Solodkin Sr., who led the regional sports department and served as adviser to the governor on sports, as well as Deputy of the Regional Drug Control Service Andrey Andreev, helped Trunovsky gang members to establish contacts with their colleagues. The elder Solodkin was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment with serving a sentence in a penal colony, his son to 8.5 years. Andreev was sentenced to 11 years in a strict regime colony and deprived of the rank of colonel. All three refused to plead guilty and said that the case against them was fabricated.
Anatoly Radchenko was born in 1975 in Novosibirsk. He graduated from lyceum number 9. During his school years, he played football and did boxing at the Nadezhda sports club under the leadership of Alexander Trunov. After graduation he became interested in martial arts. He entered the Novosibirsk Law Institute, a branch of the Tomsk State University, but was expelled from the sixth year, because he did not return to studies after the academic leave. In 2001, he graduated in absentia from the Moscow University of Culture and Arts with a degree in economics and management in social and cultural enterprises.
Celentano. From back in time
Now Celentano is waiting for a court decision in the jail No. 1 of Novosibirsk. The Novosibirsk Regional Court continues to question prosecution witnesses, there are 319 of them in the indictment. And although the case is considered in closed session, new details are constantly becoming known. They are told to journalists by Radchenko himself, who does not admit his guilt on any of the episodes. He insists that the security forces fabricated both his case and all the affairs of the Trunovsky OCG. And investigators believe that the evidence they collected is so convincing that Celentano broke the unspoken tradition of criminal authorities — he refused the jury. Although at the preliminary court session, Radchenko filed such petition, later he decided to withdraw it. Probably, he understood: he will not succeed in convincing the jury of his innocence.
What investigators say
According to the investigation, Radchenko became a member of the Trunovsky OCG in the early nineties. He was offered to join the group by Trunov himself, who was Radchenko’s sports coach during his school years. The investigation failed to establish the exact time when the leader of the organized criminal group addressed a proposal to a former pupil: the indictment mentions two dates - 1992 and the “period from 1992 to 1994.” However, investigators are sure: soon after the entry Radchenko began to play an important role in the gang. The analytical mind, the ability to easily make and maintain the right contacts, to make quick decisions led to the rapid development of the criminal career of the novice. Radchenko led the so-called “power block” and became, according to the member of the organized criminal group, Sergey Zakuchenny, the unwritten leader of the young members of the group.
Leader of the crime community named after himself Alexander Trunov
The organizers of the criminal community Alexander Trunov, Viktor Yelkin, Alexander Zelentsov, and Alexey Kornienko assigned Radchenko to recruit killers. “In the period from 1992 to 1996, while in Novosibirsk, a more precise place and time were not established, Trunov instructed Radchenko to find people who could be recruited as executors of the killings on his instructions and set up a structural unit in the OCG Trunovskaya gang a steady armed group for attacking civilians,” the indictment says. Radchenko gathered a group of killers, which included Dmitry Buol', Sergey Kamarnitsky, Andrey Ivanov, Vitaly Zaitsev, Renat and Hasan Ganeyev. By 1997, the Celentano brigade was fully armed and began to fulfill orders from the leadership of the organized criminal group.
On October 18, 1997, criminal authority Mikhail Nagibov, nicknamed Lyaka, three times convicted for robbery, extortion and theft, was killed in the entrance of his house in front of his wife. Radchenko's subordinate, killer Dmitry Buol', was the one shooting. The investigation believes that the murder was ordered by Trunov, and the cause was a conflict over the distribution of profits from the famous Gusinobrodsky flea market. This largest market beyond the Urals was the basis for the prosperity of both the Trunovsky OCG itself and its powerful patrons. On the territory of the flea market, 9 wholesale and retail markets worked at once, including one municipal market. Each of them rented land from the mayor's office, and then gave the land to the sellers for sublease.
Celentano's subordinate, killer Dmitry Buol'
Lyaka did not like that Trunov spent part of the profits from the Gusinobrodsky flea market for sponsoring the club Sibselmash, which won the Russian bandy championship. He expressed his displeasure to Trunov, and he decided to get rid of Lyaka. According to Buol', the order to remove Nagibov was given directly by Anatoly Radchenko.
In the summer of 1999, as the indictment states, Trunov gave Celentano a new assignment: to eliminate the alpha dog for the Altai region, Kemerovo and Novosibirsk region Mamuka Shubitidze, who was known as Mamuka. This time, Trunov was displeased that the thief in law extorted money fromthe leader of the Trunovsky for the maintenance of criminal structures and prisoners. Trunov did not want to allocate anything to the thieves' common fund and ordered the murder. The massacre of Mamuka should have been a lesson for other thieves in law, so that no one else had the desire to dictate their conditions to the Trunovsky.
Thief in law Turikela Kakhetinsky
According to investigators, Radchenko gave instructions to Buol', Ganeev and Kamarnitsky. Mamuka lived at the country house of his girlfriend in the village of Yerestnaya, Orda district, Novosibirsk region. On the night of July 30, 2000, the thief in law celebrated his birthday: he drank and grilled kebabs in the company of several journalists, as well as his guest from Georgia – Bagrada Gelashvili, nicknamed Zaza. Killers opened fire from AK-74, but they were mistaken: at the head of the table, in a place of honor, this time was Zaza, not Mamuka. Having received several bullets, Gelashvili died on the spot.
On March 14, 2002, at the Rostiks cafe in the center of Novosibirsk, Kemerovo crime lord Alexey Dabeev, who headed the security service of the Novosibirsk Remtochmash plant, received 4 bullets in the head. Investigators also accuse Radchenko of organizing this murder.
Scene of Alexey Dabeev's murder
On March 30, 2004, Nikolai Akenshin, nicknamed Kesha, who led one of the criminal groups in the Leninsky district of Novosibirsk, was shot near his own garage. The victim was tracked down by Buol', and shot by Kamarnitsky. Giving testimony in the case, the killers said that Trunov "ordered" Kesha because on March 1, 2004, he killed Alexey Kornienko, one of the founders of the organized criminal group. And next month, Kesha allegedly participated in the murder attempt on another Trunovsky OCG member – Andrey Bozhenko. Therefore, Trunov ordered Celentano to organize the massacre of Kesha. According to investigators, this is the last murder committed on Trunov’s orders, although the leader of the organized criminal group was detained in 2009, 5 years after the execution of Kesha.
In addition to these successful killings, Radchenko is accused of organizing several more assassination attempts. According to investigators, in 1999, Celentano organized an attack on the owner of one of the markets of the Gusinobrodsky flea market Frunzik Khachatryan, in 2003 – on the assistant to the general director of the Central Market of Novosibirsk, Yevgeny Syadchikov, in 2004 – on Andrey Bozhenko.
What Celentano says
For several years, Anatoly Radchenko has been trying to convince the public that he was the victim of greedy rivals and corrupt Novosibirsk siloviki. Celentano first talked about his innocence back in Thailand, having recorded the corresponding video message. “Against the background of their reports on the fight against crime, many enterprises were captured, in the creation of which I took part from scratch. They all work to this day and bring fabulous profits,” Radchenko-Celentano explained his position.
Video: Anatoly Radchenko's message
While in jail, Radchenko continues to defend his version. Celentano sends written answers to the questions asked by journalists, and tries to prove that the case against him was fabricated from beginning to end. “For a long time since 2009, the media spoke extremely negatively about me, people had a prejudice about my guilt, about leading the so-called killer group, about my danger to society. I was actually accused of committing all unsolved high-profile crimes in the Novosibirsk region,” Radchenko writes.
According to Radchenko, he is prosecuted thanks to the gangland businessman Andrey Bozhenko, known under the nickname Beria. And at the suggestion of Bozhenko the head of the operational-search bureau of the Main Directorate of the MIA for the Siberian Federal District Yury Proshchalykin and his deputy Alexander Nikitin decided to accuse him in all the high-profile murders of the last decades. The senior inspectors of the Siberian Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Roman Tsygankov, and the head of the Investigation Department of the Prosecutor's Office for Siberia, Vasily Usov (all positions are as of 2009), became performers of the will. Celentano insists: Trunovsky OCG never existed, Trunov was only Radchenko’s partner in trade and development business.
One of the few pictures available of Andrey Bozhenko
According to Celentano, the high-profile case of the Trunovsky OCG began with a conflict around municipal sites in the Gusinobrodsky flea market. One side of it was the flea market administration and the Radchenko company, which resold the rights to rent retail outlets, the other was the businessman Frunzik Khachatryan, who owned the neighboring market called Tenzor. As Zakuzenny told earlier at the trial, Trunovskys received less income because of a competitor: “People transferred to him from the municipal flea market, he organized better conditions there, and entrepreneurs came to sell in his market, the main flea market was empty.”
The acquaintance of Alexander Trunov, a former police officer Alexey Kornienko (the same one whom the investigators consider to be one of the organizers of the criminal community) offered to ask his colleague who was still in the security service for help. As Radchenko says, it was then that from Kornienko, he first heard about Alexander Nikitin, who served as deputy chief of the operational-search bureau. In the fall of 1998, Radchenko met with Nikitin and the security official proposed a deal: employees of the West Siberian Regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (RUBOP) would close Khachatryan’s market, and Nikitin in return would receive a share of the increased revenues of Radchenko and his partners.
The owner of one of the markets of Gusinobrodsky flea market Frunzik Khachatryan
If one believes Radchenko, Nikitin acted with the full support of his boss, Yuri Proshchalykin. By his order Regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime employees did temporarily block the operation of the Tenzor market. Here is how Khachatryan himself described these events to the journalists: “Suddenly, the local Regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime fighters headed by Major Nikitin, who is now General of the MIA of the Russian Federation, arrived, and the market was closed. For two months the market was under the control of the police, we launched a lawsuit in the courts with both Regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and the mayor's office. Their actions were deemed illegal, after which people in masks left the market.”
According to Radchenko, when the market could not be closed forever, it was Nikitin, and not he himself or Solodkin, who organized the attempt on Khachatryan in June 1999. So the policeman tried to fulfill the contract and get his share of the proceeds from the Gusinobrodsky flea market. But killing owner of the Tenzor did not work, so the security official decided to change tactics and take possession of Radchenko’s business himself.
In 2002, the West-Siberian RUBOP was reorganized into the Main Directorate of the MIA for the Siberian Federal District. Yuri Proshchalykin headed first the operational-search bureau of the new structure, and then the entire unit. Alexander Nikitin became his deputy and, according to Radchenko, he teamed up with Bozhenko to seize companies owned by Celentano.
Bozhenko ordered the murder of Radchenko, but the attempt was unsuccessful. On January 2, 2005, Celentano's Mercedes stopped on the main highway of Novosibirsk – on Krasny Prospect, 800 meters from the city hall. Radchenko sent his driver Alexander Ushakov to the newsstand to buy the latest issue of Kommersant newspaper. As soon as Ushakov returned, the killer approached the car and shot the passengers almost point-blank with a pistol with a silencer. Radchenko received six bullets, the driver – only two, so he managed to bring the car to the nearest hospital. Timely help from doctors saved both victims of the assassination attempt.
Killer was unable not only to finish off Radchenko, but even to leave the crime scene - he was detained by accidentally passing staff of the sobering-up station. The shooter turned out to be Vyacheslav Kalashnikov, an employee of the private security firm Pregrada. He immediately admitted his guilt and stated that he wanted to kill Radchenko out of a sense of personal dislike: he took revenge for the abuse he had undergone in 2002, when he worked as a security guard for Radchenko. “I wanted to put him in his place and explain how to behave with people,” Kalashnikov explained the motive for the crime. And the killer allegedly found the Izh-79 pistol with a silencer, converted to live ammunition, along with clips to it, near a garbage can.
Radchenko admitted that he had seen Kalashnikov before the attack, but he was not personally acquainted. Celentano could not recall any conflicts with him. However, the investigation failed to prove the true motive of the attempt. Customer identities have also not been established. Kalashnikov was found guilty of attempted murder, intentional injury and possession of weapons. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a strict regime colony. Now Radchenko claims that the investigation failed to reveal the true motive of the crime due to the fact that the patrons of the customer were the security forces themselves.
Celentano, Solodkin Jr., and Trun
Nikitin provided cover and secured the transfer of the case to the “useful” investigator, Roman Tsygankov from the investigative department of the district prosecutor's office. “The customer and the organizers were allegedly not established for all the obviousness of the evidence base, the accomplices of the attacker, Bozhenko’s relatives, were wanted. None of them was brought to justice, and the performer was picked up by the motive “personal dislike”, and he was convicted alone. The case is actually ruined. Operational support was conducted by Nikitin, the investigation – by Tsygankov,” Radchenko wrote to journalists from the jail. "Nikitin is a witness in the case, and could have become one of the main defendants himself," insists Radchenko. In the opinion of the authoritative businessman, Proshchalykin should have received the same status.
Radchenko asks to pay attention to one more detail: all the accusations of the investigation that he led the “power block” of the Trunovsky OCG are based only on the testimony of the convicted killers themselves. In 2009, Buol', the first of the Trunovsky, confessed. He confessed to the murder of Nagibov in 2009, concluded a pre-trial agreement and became the first convicted in the Trunovsky case, having gone to a colony for 17 years. Following Buol', nine more people went to the deal, who were recognized by the court as murderers, fraudsters and OCG participants. Killers Andrey Ivanov, Sergey Komarnitsky and Vitaly Zaitsev received 18, 19 and 20 years of strict regime, respectively. All the killers claimed that the plans for the killings were developed by Radchenko. However, as the accused insists, the investigators do not have other evidence, past these testimonies.
Video: Killer Dmitry Buol' during investigation
The only one of the alleged subordinates of Celentano, who denies his own guilt and Radchenko's involvement in the organized criminal group, is the former commander of the Berd special forces brigade of the GRU Roman Kuznetsov. The investigation believes that it was he who tried to kill Bozhenko by order of Celentano. Bozhenko was shot in February 2004 near the market near the Studenchenskaya metro station, but he survived. But during the assassination attempt a businessman, who was talking to the intended victim, got killed.
When the case of Kuznetsov was referred for trial, the defendant insisted on the jury. The former killer failed to convince the people's representatives that he was right: 10 out of 12 found the former commando guilty. However, Celentano is not at all embarrassed that Kuznetsov failed to prove his innocence. Radchenko is ready to defend his own version of events in court to the last, because he failed to do this at the investigation stage. “I did not have the opportunity to fully prepare to participate in the trial. My health has deteriorated significantly. At the preliminary investigation stage, I was subjected to methods of influence based on a set of measures of psychological pressure, threats and physical impact by applying special means to me. They demanded that I fully admit my guilt - in fact, slander myself. Give evidence against other defendants, including Solodkin and Andreev. Also testify against some officials and management of a number of sports clubs and commercial organizations. I did not slander anyone, I did not slander myself either,” Radchenko wrote to journalists.
Celentano is trying by all means to arouse sympathy. He says that he was forced to leave Russia because of fears for his life. Moving from one country to another, ge hardly earned his daily bread by working as a consultant and real estate agent. All these years he was deprived of the opportunity to see his wife and two children. And most importantly, he had to watch in silence, as he himself, and his entire family, are being thrown mud at in the press. So, Celentano is especially indignant that a record from his wedding appeared in the media. The only copy of this record was kept on a cassette in the house of Radchenko and was found by security forces during searches. TV channel Vesti showed this video for the first time back in 2009. “The recording of my wedding was accompanied by absurd comments about a gangster gathering and was replicated many times. What will be the attitude towards my wife from colleagues or children at school? I am very sorry that my family was in such a situation,” Radchenko says indignantly.
Video: Anatoly Radchenko's wedding
By the way, all the representatives of the "economic bloc" of the Trunovsky OCG considered it necessary to come both to the Celentano wedding and the christening of his children. However, now Radchenko is trying to present not only Solodkins but Trunov himself as the innocent victim of business partners and security officials: "He was convicted for murders, to which he has nothing to do, and for leading a criminal community that did not exist." Celentano assures: the criminal cases against Trunov and Solodkins from the beginning to the end were fabricated by Nikitin, Proshchalykin and their subordinates. With the help of the federal media, they created the image of Trunov the gangster and the half-bureaucrats half-gangsters Solodkins.
Whom no one talks about
Radchenko can blame Nikitin and Proshchalykin on everything without any fear: both security officials have lost their influence long ago, and not because of their possible involvement in a raider attack on the owners of the Gusinobrodsky flea market. Nikitin in 2015 headed the MIA Directorate for the Ivanovo region, and a year later he was found guilty of exceeding his authority and causing damage of 90 million rubles ($1.3 mln) for the construction of a new building for the regional police headquarters. The policeman was sentenced to a real term – three years’ imprisonment in a penal colony. Released by parole in 2017. By the way, lawyers of Andrey Bozhenko defended the police general, which may serve as indirect confirmation of the accusations of Celentano against Nikitin.
Former head of the MIA Directorate for the Ivanovo region Alexander Nikitin
Proshchalykin is also out of work. In 2015, after the disbandment of the district administrations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the head of the department took the post of deputy security officer of the Novosibirsk Region Governor Vladimir Gorodetsky. And at the end of 2017, Proshchalykin left the civil service at his own request. The police Lieutenant General explained his dismissal with the desire to "do business."
Why the security officials were not adtsaif to almost openly seize the Gusinobrodsky flea market? Who helped them and provided cover? Celentano does not call any other names. The accusation, as before, as in the other trials of the Trunovsky OCG, only mentions the names of Solodkins. They say that these two officials helped the Trunov group to develop the criminal business and remain unpunished, providing access to higher-ranking colleagues.
Officials Solodkins family
Who exactly are we talking about? Two names are so obvious that they float on every process related to the Trunovsky OCG. They are Viktor Tolokonsky, who occupied the post of mayor of Novosibirsk in 1999, and Vladimir Gorodetsky, who was his first deputy at that time. For the first time, both officials had to testify in the Trunov case in 2010, when Tolokonsky was the governor of the Novosibirsk region, and Gorodetsky was the mayor of Novosibirsk. Later Tolokonsky more than once had to answer questions about the Solodkin case, because Solodkin Sr. was one of his oldest and loyal friends. It was not easy for Tolokonsky to explain why he and his close friend were at the Celentano's wedding. Moreover, Khachatryan, who survived the assassination attempt, said that Tolokonsky had been on more than one party of the Trunovsky.
And four years later, an even louder scandal broke out. In 2014, when Tolokonsky got the post of governor of the Krasnoyarsk region, another Trunovsky, Mark Lunev, was extradited from Thailand to Russia. He admitted that he was in charge of the construction business of the organized criminal group, made a deal with the investigation and received seven years’ probation for extortion. But the most important thing about which Lunev told investigators was that the officials from the first row not only helped the Trunovsky, but also themselves owed them a lot. The bandits allocated from 100 to 200 thousand dollars for the fact that Solodkin Jr. was elected to the deputies of the city council of Novosibirsk. And Viktor Tolokonsky himself was helped to become the governor of the Novosibirsk region.
In 1999, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Russia, Ivan Starikov, was the main rival of the native Novosibirsk candidate at the elections. And in the offices of one of Radchenko’s companies Lunev saw special equipment that the members of the organized criminal group used to wiretap Starikov’s campaign headquarters. The use of this equipment in the election campaign of Tolokonsky was confirmed at the trial by another member of the criminal community – Zakunenny.
The former Trunovsky are convinced: information obtained by illegal means helped Tolokonsky to defeat an opponent in the second round, gaining 44.32% of the vote – 2 percent more than Starikov.
“All the pre-election moments of Starikov's campaign through Radchenko were handed over to Solodkin Alexander Naumovich, for which Radchenko was promised the position of deputy governor,” Judge Larisa Chub read the testimony of Hasan Ganeyev to the courtroom. And the fact that the election campaign of Tolokonsky was sponsored by members of the OCG, was mentioned at the hearings on the case of Solodkin by state prosecutor Anzhelika Yegorova.
Despite the emergence of compromising evidence, Tolokonsky managed to avoid criminal prosecution. He was resigned from the post of governor of the Krasnoyarsk region not because of ties with the bandits. And Gorodetsky’s successful career is still going on: now the former governor of the Novosibirsk Region has become a member of the Federation Council.
All this makes one believe in the validity of the conclusions made by Khachatryan several years ago: “One gets the opinion that a decision has been made – do not touch anyone above the Solodkin family. However, it is obvious that they are far from the only officials who contributed to the activities of this OCG. Trunov and Solodkin are only branches of the powerful tree of the Novosibirsk mafia. Its other branches are law enforcement officers who worked with the OCG. And the trunk of this tree is the officials who still occupy high posts.”
Who else can be associated with the Trunovsky in addition to Tolokonsky and Gorodetsky? Everybody is silent about that. Only in 2012, Alexander Goloshubin, deputy head of the operational-search unit No. 1, told reporters that, according to the MIA, the Trunov group had connections not only in the regional administration and in the city council of deputies. In particular, the investigator said that after the arrest of one of the members of the organized criminal group Mikhail Kolmogorov, two State Duma deputies came to Kemerovo, who asked to release him from custody under their surety. What posts do they occupy now? And who else among the officials of the first row is involved in the Trunovsky OCG? And most importantly, who is so influential that Celentano himself is afraid to mention his name?