The Kuritsy Are Coming Home To Roost: And to rape and pillage

According to google translate, “kuritsy” is plural for chicken.

As was predicted by many, recruiting convicts from Russian prisons was a bad idea.  They wouldn’t have signed up if suicide missions were the only type of fighting (though doubtless that’s what many were sent on).  They certainly wouldn’t have signed up if going back meant going back to prison.  No, the only way they would go is for lighter sentences or full release.

Wagner began recruiting prisoners in August 2022, meaning thousands have finished six month contracts.  While many of them were used as cannon fodder, they weren’t all killed. (How many died due to inexperience in combat, lacking training?)  Inevitably, some of them would eventually return back to Russia, let loose on the street.

Loose, as in loose cannons.  Full of anger and alcohol after enduring at least six months of violence and watching thousands die around them.

From The Daily Beast, August 3, 2023:

Convicted Murderer Freed to Fight in Ukraine Accused of Butchering Six When He Got Back Home

A Russian ex-convict who was apparently freed from prison to take part in the war against Ukraine has now been accused of returning home and butchering six people in a drunken rampage.

Igor Sofonov, 37, is one of two suspects arrested in the Republic of Karelia after authorities discovered two burned down homes containing the remains of six people who’d been stabbed to death. The victims were identified as a 39-year-old man and his 71-year-old father in one home, and a man and his wife, brother, and a pensioner in the second home.

Police say a “long-standing domestic conflict” motivated the savage murders in the village of Derevyannoye but gave no further details.

Along with Sofonov, another ex-con named Maksim Bochkarev is also accused of taking part. At a court hearing Wednesday, Sofonov told reporters he’d taken part in the war, according to Karelia News. It was not immediately clear if Bochkarev, too, had been involved in the bloodshed in Ukraine.

Investigators confirmed that both Sofonov and Bochkarev had lengthy track records for “serious crimes” and had served prison time, but it was not immediately clear when and under what circumstances they were released.

More below.

Also from The Daily Beast, April 18, 2023:

Russian Shadow Army Recruit Returns Home and Stabs Man to Death

A convicted murderer pardoned after fighting in the war against Ukraine with the notorious Wagner Group is accused of stabbing a local man to death after returning home–the second such case in less than a month.

Authorities in the capital of the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia launched a manhunt late Monday after a well-known local man was repeatedly stabbed.

Soslan Valiyev, described as developmentally delayed and a local celebrity of sorts, was knifed multiple times in Tskhinvali on Monday evening, according to local reports citing police.

Georgy Siukayev now stands accused of his murder. Siukayev, taken into custody just a few hours after the grisly killing, had only recently returned from the battlefield in Ukraine. He’d been serving a prison sentence for a 2014 murder when he was apparently recruited by Wagner, according to local media.

“Disaster has occurred. If Siukayev is guilty, and the evidence leads back to him–it is necessary to get him. Everyone who may have covered for him, hid his vehicle–all must be detained,” the president of the self-proclaimed republic declared at an emergency overnight meeting, calling the murder a “high-profile case.”

You have to wonder how many more cases like this will happen.  Prigozhin claimed at one point to have recruited 50,000 prisoners, and an estimated 32,000 returned home after “finishing their contracts”.  Even if only 1% survived, that would still be 500 criminals let loose upon Russian society.  What percentage of those 32,000 were rapists and murderers (i.e. the most violent, the type that an unregulated and brutal mercenary company would want)?  How many came home with PTSD, with brain injuries and even less impulse control, and “given freedom for service”?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There are many more cases of ex-Wagner types returning to Russia and engaging in crime.  How much harm will Putin cause to Russia’s citizens by allowing this?

CNN, March 2023

The Guardian, April 2023

CBS News, June 2023

Newsweek, June 2023

Business Insider, July 2023