In 2013, the court sent Ivan Něparatov to prison for 25 years for murder, robbery, extortion, kidnapping and other crimes. Between 2009 and 2010, near the city of Sergiyev 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 the war in Ukraine.
Neparatov fell near Bakhmut on August 5 when shrapnel injured his head. On August 16, President Putin awarded him a medal for “the bravery and heroism he displayed in the performance of his 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, who is believed to be the owner of Wagner’s group focused on securing mercenary fighters, personally came to some prisons. Its members participate in the fighting in Ukraine.
The Russian-language service of the British BBC reports that Russian soldiers and volunteers posthumously receive the Order of Courage, while relatives of convicts who died in combat receive a medal, a lesser form of honor.