A brutal Russian mafia boss convicted of ordering 29 murders is set to be released from prison to fight for Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.
Sergey Butorin – nicknamed Osya – has volunteered to join up with the infamous Wagner Group mercenaries.
Earlier this month video emerged of Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin recruiting straight out of a prison courtyard.
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There have also been images of wagons delivering lags in the Saratov region to planes to be flown to the frontline.
Butorin, 57, is one of several mass murderers to have taken up the offer of six months fighting in Ukraine in exchange for freedom and a pardon from Putin.
He has been one of Russia's most ruthless mobsters since the collapse of the USSR, with his reign of terror in Moscow lasting from 1994 to 1998 during the peak of the country's mafia wars. He headed the Orekhovskaya organised crime group.
Among the high-profile killings Butorin ordered was Otari Kvantrishvili, the the head of the Russian athletes social assistance fund.
The crime boss also saw off top killer Alexander Solonik and his girlfriend Svetlana Kotova, a Miss Russia beauty contest finalist in 1996.
He was detained alongside underling Marat Polyansky in Spain in February 2001 and extradited to Moscow in 2010.
“Butorin said that he had a military specialty – [he was previously] commander of a motorised rifle platoon, and he is ready to go to the war,” a source said.
The mafioso is currently in Moscow’s notorious Butyrka pre-trial detention centre facing further legal action.
He has put in a request to join the fighting with Russia’s Public Monitoring Commission, the organisation that checks the condition of inmates before sending them to bolster the Ukraine invasion.
Inmates with previous military experience have not been turned away from Putin's mobilisation efforts.
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