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Two men sent to jail for combined 31 years in Russian mafia murder case

A court in Moscow has sentenced two defendants to a combined 31 years behind bars after they were found guilty of murdering Vyacheslav Ivankov, a notorious mafia kingpin who was shot dead in the street in 2009.
Jambul Janashia and Murtazi Shadania were given 15 and 16 years respectively in a strict regime colony for their role in Ivankov’s death. Last week, a jury found them guilty on all charges, including the illegal storage of weapons as well as the killing itself.

Ivankov, also known as Yaponchik (‘The Little Japanese’), was notorious in Russia for his role in the mafia, and spent time behind bars in both the Soviet Union and the United States. According to investigators, his murder was arranged by criminal Ilya Simonia, who recruited Janashia and Shadania, along with Kakha Gazzaev, Nuzgar Papava, and Astambur Butba.

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On July 28, 2009, the five men arrived at the Thai Elephant restaurant on Khoroshevskoye Shosse in Moscow, which Ivankov frequented. That evening, after the kingpin left the establishment, one of the men, Butba, shot Ivankov with an SVD sniper rifle from the back of a Gazelle, a Russian van made by manufacturer GAZ. Ivankov subsequently died in a medical facility a few months later.

The latest sentences handed to Janashia and Shadania come just months after Gazzaev pleaded guilty and received a 14-year sentence to his part in the murder. The other two conspirators, Papava and Butba, have fled the country and are on the international wanted list.


Born in Georgia in 1940, Ivankov rose through the ranks of the criminal underworld to become a significant figure in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1991, he was unexpectedly released from a Russian prison, where he had been serving a 14-year stretch for firearms, forgery, and drug-trafficking charges. He got out after just nine. Ivankov then moved to the US and began engaging in criminal activity in New York, before eventually serving time for extortion. He returned to Russia after his prison sentence. 14, 2021 at 11:51PM
from RT – Daily news

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