Former Wagner mercenary given 11.5 years in jail for murder

A court in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don has sentenced a former Wagner Group mercenary and convicted inmate to eleven years and six months in prison for murder, the local prosecutor’s office reported on Tuesday.

According to the court, Sergey Rudenko, 34, found an apartment rental ad online in April 2023 and arranged a meeting with the woman who owned it. The two argued over the rental price, after which Rudenko strangled the woman with a shoelace, stabbed her several times, and stole her cell phone. He was found guilty of murder and theft.

Rudenko was a mercenary with the Wagner Group, according to independent Russian media outlet Mediazona. In 2018, a man with the same name was sentenced to 10 years in prison for strangling his girlfriend with a shoelace and stealing her jewellery and three cell phones. He was then presumably recruited into Wagner Group as many other convicted inmates to help Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine.

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