October 26, 2023

Show and Shell


Show and Shell
Members of the Wagner group training Belarusian troops. Wikimedia Commons.

Telegram channel Govorit NeMoskva reported that Wagner mercenary Alexander Raspravin, a convicted murderer, gave a talk to seventh-grade students at MBOU Vyezdnovskaya Secondary School in Nizhny Novgorod.

A now-deleted post on the school’s VKontakte page described how Raspravin “talked about the living conditions at the front, and how important and necessary the support of ordinary citizens is. That every drawing and letter that reaches the common soldier is important to them.” Raspravin also reportedly spoke of his own military awards, including his feat of rescuing “16 [members] of our military” from captivity. The post was exuberant in its praise for Raspravin, and described the event as well-received by students.

Raspravin was photographed showing pupils a portable missile launcher. In one photograph, a pupil held it aloft. Meduza described the launcher as a “man-portable anti-tank guided missile that resembles the U.S.-made Javelin model.”

In terms of Raspravin’s convictions, the Telegram post described Raspravin as “convicted of murdering a homeless man,” citing a report from the Arzamas District Court describing a man with Raspravin’s initials. This man, presumably Raspravin, killed a drinking companion in a brawl in response to unwanted sexual advances. The post said that Raspravin received 12 years in prison for the murder.

Meduza and Novaya Gazeta reported that Raspravin received six years in prison in 2010 for assaulting his grandfather, leading to his death, and another 11 years for killing an acquaintance in 2017. Meduza’s description of the 2017 killing seemed to corroborate the Telegram post, as both described Raspravin as having killed another man in a brawl after striking him 40 times. Meduza also reported that Raspravin was convicted of a further undisclosed felony in 2016.

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