Soldiers carry the coffin of a 20-year-old Russian serviceman in St Petersburg, Russia, in April 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
- A Wagner Group fighter was buried with military honors in Russia last week, The Insider reported.
- He joined the infamous group while serving a murder sentence in a Russian penal colony.
- He was convicted in 2017 of beating his own mother to death.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A man serving time for murdering his own mother, but who was released to fight in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has been buried in Russia as a hero.
Sergei Molodtsov, 46, was buried with military honors in Serov, Russia, last Thursday after he was killed fighting in Ukraine, reported The Insider, a Latvia-based online publication that is not affiliated with Insider.
It is not immediately clear how or where he died.
Molodtsov joined the group while serving time in a penal colony for the murder of his own mother, the head of Serov urban district confirmed to local Russian media outlet E1.
He drunkenly beat his elderly mother to death, breaking her jaw, shoulder, face, and head, according to a 2017 conviction verdict, E1 reported.
Molodtsov was sentenced to more than 11 years in a penal colony, but ended up serving a little more than 5 years before being drafted to fight, it said.
In a jarring statement given his background, Serov local officials described Molodtsov in a Facebook post as a “happy-go-lucky guy” who was “always there for those in need of help.”
At his funeral, Russian soldiers carried his caskets and military veterans made farewell speeches, per The Insider.
The New York Times reported last week that the Wagner Group has recruited more than 35,000 convicts to serve in its army, citing information provided by prisoner-rights organization Russia Behind Bars.
Footage released earlier this month reported to show Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin freeing the first batch of two dozen former convicts sent to fight in Ukraine.
In the video, Prigozhin is seen addressing the men, who had completed their six months of service, warning them about their future conduct.
“Don’t drink, don’t use drugs, don’t rape broads, behave yourselves,” he said.
The Daily Beast, citing interviews with ex-Wagner fighters, reported earlier this week that convicted murderers and rapists are quickly becoming “Russia’s new heroes,” after their claimed capture of the embattled Ukrainian town of Soledar.