Russian prisoner freed by Putin to fight with Wagner accused of double murder

Wagner forces train Belarusian army

A former prisoner who was reportedly released to join the ranks of Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine is facing accusations of a double murder in Russia after returning from the war-torn region. Demyan Kevorkyan, who had been serving an 18-year prison sentence since 2016, now finds himself behind bars once again, this time charged with killing a young man and woman on their way home from work.

Kevorkyan vehemently denies these grave allegations. The incident has exposed a troubling pattern, as investigations have revealed that he is not the sole case of a released convict turned accused reoffender after being involved in mercenary activities.

The recruitment of Kevorkyan, along with around 150 other prisoners, into the Wagner mercenary group reportedly took place on August 31, 2022. The alleged recruitment occurred during a visit to his prison by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the controversial private military company.

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According to sources including a former inmate quoted on a social media platform, Kevorkyan was observed back in his hometown of Pridorozhnaya, situated in the Krasnodar region of south-west Russia, claiming to have recently returned from the battlefields of Ukraine.

Tragically, among the victims of the alleged double murder is 19-year-old Tatyana Mostyko, known for her role as a children’s entertainer.

Three suspects, including the 31-year-old Kevorkyan, were apprehended in connection with the gruesome murders.

The other two suspects, identified as Anatoly Dvoynikov and Aram Tatosyan, reportedly led investigators to makeshift graves in a nearby woodland area close to where Kirill’s burnt-out car was found. The victims, Kirill and Tatyana, had been fatally stabbed, with law enforcement indicating that the young woman had suffered a violent death.

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During questioning, both Dvoynikov and Tatosyan admitted to robbery and murder, pinning the responsibility on Kevorkyan as the ringleader. However, Kevorkyan firmly maintains his innocence in the matter.

Kevorkyan had been initially imprisoned for his involvement in a carjacking gang, which had seized a vehicle not far from the location where the later murders occurred. The gang had subjected the occupants to a robbery, resulting in the death of one individual who was shot during the incident.

President Vladimir Putin confirmed publicly in June 2023 that he had granted presidential pardons to prisoners who had returned from participating in the Ukraine war.

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