Mikhail Popkov, the worst serial killer in Russian history, wants to join Wagner’s militia
So far, he has been convicted of 78 murders of women, but has confessed to 83. One thing is for sure, ex-police officer Mikhail Popkov is one of the worst killers Russia has ever known. And this man, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the hope of getting freedom, formed a desire to fight with the Wagner group in Ukraine.
We knew that the deal offered by Yevgeny Prigojine in Russian prisons – a six-month battle on the front lines against automatic release in Ukraine – had sparked some calls to increase the ranks of Wagner’s private militia. This weekend, one of them caused an unexpected reaction.
On Sunday, Mikhail Popkov actually appeared on state television, where he announced that he wanted to join a mercenary group to fight the Ukrainians. This man is well known to the Russians: he is undoubtedly the worst serial killer in their history.
A killer’s way
Mikhail Popkov is now 58 years old. He was born in the eastern Siberian factory town of Norilsk, famous for hosting one of Stalin’s worst gulags. Later, he left for the east of Russia and became a policeman in Irkutsk. But the policeman turns into a predator. He later explained his crimes by hating “strange women” — as CNews noted here — where he would drive prostitutes, bartenders or hikers to isolated locations in his company car, killing, maiming and possibly raping them. During the entire period from 1992 until his arrest in 2012.
Mikhail Popkov was first sentenced to life in prison for 22 murders in 2015, then sentenced to life imprisonment for a second time after confessing to nearly 50 more. Known as the author of 78 murders, he has since confessed to five more murders, a gruesome toll of 83 victims. The massacre that prompted public opinion to create two nicknames for him: “werewolf” and “Madman of Angarsk”. That is why Russian state television caught him on Sunday in a prison near Kazakhstan, where he expressed his desire to join the ranks of the Wagner group on the Ukrainian front.
A killer who doesn’t like the cold
In this interview posted in the tweet below, Mikhail Popkov answers a journalist behind bars. He seems to have trouble expressing himself and sometimes has strange thoughts and turns, according to the captions of the footage. The interview begins with this broad question: “What is your dream?” “Conscript myself,” replies the prisoner. However, he continues: “I wouldn’t be completely honest if I said that’s what I want. It’s not a video game, it’s not a novel, it’s not a superhero story.”
A moment of clarity? On the contrary, it is cynical, because he adds: “But to be honest and objective, if I am in the period of January-February, the coldest period – for me in the frost, there is nothing worse – I sign there immediately.” “You just have to go from a cold trench to a warm room, how long can you last?” he asks.
The failure of Wagner’s recruitment policy
“If I think about my military profile, I believe that at this moment it is wanted,” Mikhail Popkov goes further, not knowing whether he means a career as a policeman or an assassin. “Of course, the techniques are a bit more modern these days – radio waves and everything – but I don’t think I’d have too much trouble going back to it, even though I’ve been in prison for ten years,” he feels good to confirm.
It remains to be seen if Russia and the Wagner group are that desperate to get the serial killer nominated. Wagner’s recruitment campaign in the prisons of the Russian Federation is a huge failure anyway. According to figures released by the Ukrainian presidency and reported by TF1 on Monday, 29,000 of the 38,000 soldiers from prison deployed to the front by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s militia have already been discharged.
The original article was published on BFMTV.com
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