In a disturbing turn of events, Maksim Volkovoy, a Russian man formerly incarcerated for murder and later released to join the war in Ukraine, has been re-sentenced to prison for a new murder committed after his return from the front. This case, unfolding in Russia's Primorsky region, highlights the complexities and consequences of using convicts as combatants in warfare.
Volkovoy, reportedly a member of the Wagner Group in Ukraine, was involved in a fatal altercation upon his return. According to the investigation, the incident occurred during a drinking session at a friend's house where Volkovoy engaged in an argument with an acquaintance. The dispute escalated to violence, resulting in Volkovoy beating and stabbing the man to death using chairs, a knife, and a bat.
In a surprising turn during the trial, the court stated that Volkovoy had no previous convictions. However, independent media outlet Mediazona uncovered court records from a March 2022 murder trial involving a man with the same name. These records revealed that Volkovoy was initially sentenced to eight years in prison.
The recent ruling from the Primorsky court did not consider Volkovoy's prior murder conviction as an aggravating factor in the new case. Interestingly, the court deemed his participation in the war and the state medals received for his service as mitigating factors. This decision raises questions about the judicial treatment of veterans with criminal pasts, especially those involved in private military companies like the Wagner Group.
Volkovoy's case underscores the broader issues surrounding the use of convicts in military conflicts and the potential repercussions upon their return to civilian life. It also highlights the challenges in reintegrating such individuals into society, particularly when they have a history of violent crime.