Russian mercenary gets reduced murder sentence for service in Ukraine

A court in the Russian Far East’s Primorsky region sentenced a former Russian mercenary to just seven years in prison for murder in light of his military service in Ukraine, Mediazona reported Friday.

Convicted murderer Maxim Volkovoy was given early release from prison in 2023 after signing a contract with the mercenary Wagner Group to fight in Ukraine, according to a local news outlet.

However, Volkovoy committed another murder just five days after returning from the front, according to testimony from his November trial, which said that he had been carousing with friends and drinking continuously since he returned from the war and was intoxicated when the incident occurred.

In his testimony, however, Volkovoy claimed that his intoxication did not influence his actions.

“I would have done the same thing if I were sober,” he said, “because I was angry with the man for making [negative] statements about the military operation in Ukraine.”

Volkovoy beat the victim with a stool until it broke, after which he continued the beating with another stool. He then struck the victim with a bat before finally killing him with a knife.

The court deemed Volkovoy’s military service, his military awards, and the victim’s “illegal behaviour” mitigating circumstances. They also determined the victim to have instigated the fight with his comment, noting that the victim’s statements about the war in Ukraine “greatly hurt Volkovoy’s feelings”.

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