Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded a Medal of Courage to a five-time convicted murderer who joined Wagner’s private army and died in action near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine in early August. The Insider and Gulagu.net investigation portals inform about this.
In 2013, the court sent Ivan Něparatov to prison for 25 years for murder, theft, extortion, kidnapping and other crimes. Between 2009 and 2010, near the town of Sergiev Posad near Moscow, he murdered five people, some of whom were his debtors, some of whom died in robberies. He spent 12 years in prison and this year signed a contract with Wagner’s group and was sent to war in Ukraine.
Neparatov fell near Bakhmut on August 5 when shrapnel wounded him in the head. On August 16, President Putin presented him with a medal for “the bravery and heroism he displayed while performing duties during a special military operation”. Russia does not call the conflict in Ukraine a war, but a special military operation.
In recent weeks, Russian independent media have reported that in Russian prisons convicts are being recruited for the war in Ukraine. Yevgeny Prigozhin, believed to be the owner of Wagner’s group focused on securing mercenary fighters, has personally visited some prisons. Its members take part in the fighting in Ukraine.
Britain’s BBC Russian-language service reports that Russian soldiers and volunteers are posthumously awarded the Order of Courage, while relatives of convicts killed in action are awarded the medal, a lesser form of honour.