After participating in the war in Ukraine as part of the Wagner PMC, he was released Member of the criminal gang Anton Ionov. He was a member of the Motinsky group, and from 2008 to 2015 was engaged in extortion and drug trafficking in the Leningrad region. This was reported by the Telegram channel “Rotonda”.
Ionov and other gang members were detained in 2015. The future mercenary of the PMC “Wagner” then turns to footage of the operational chronicle lying face down on the floor.
Anton Ionov was close to the leader of “Motinskaya” Oleg Matveev. Among other things, the gang was suspected of murdering Volkhov crime boss Sergeyev, as well as extorting 1.5 million rubles from Dmitry Afonin, the owner of a local car service. As Rotunda writes, Ionov and his associates Afonin was beaten and doused with boiling water. They also took away his Porsche Cayenne.
In 2018, the court sentenced Ionov to 11 years in a strict regime colony. In mid-January 2023, he was featured in a report by Russia Today about a group of former prisoners who had returned home. “Personally, I liked it, I’ll definitely be back,” he told the camera.
In early January, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of Wagner PMC, announced that the first group of Russian prisoners recruited to participate in the war with Ukraine had completed a six-month contract. About twenty prisoners received an initial pardon for “service”.
During service, enlisted prisoners received pay, but less than contract soldiers with no criminal record. Prigogine said that all criminal records have now been cleared of him.
For the first time, the fact of recruiting mercenaries in the Wagner PMC colonies became known this summer. In September, a video appeared in which Yevgeny Prigozhin called on prisoners to join the mercenary army. In the same month, he stopped hiding that he had a hand in setting up this PMC.
Citing intelligence data, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that the United States estimated the number of Wagner mercenaries at 50,000, of whom 40,000 were prisoners recruited from Russian prisons and only 10,000 were professional military. Huh.
By the second half of January, out of 50,000 convicts admitted to Russian prisons, no more than 10,000 Wagner PMC mercenaries remained at the front, Olga Romanova, head of the Rus Sitaya charitable foundation, said earlier. According to him, the rest “were either killed, or joined the 300th, or missing, or deserted, or surrendered.”