Well one can say a lot of things about the Russian mafia leader Vyacheslav K. Ivankov, but you wouldn’t say he didn’t have an impact on the country, as his funeral today brought out crowds of hundreds. In this news clip, there are some amusing altercations between Ivankov and the media which will likely become YouTube hits, but the fact is his murder could be the catalyst for a renewed outburst of violent fighting between rival criminal groups.
Back during the height of his criminal enterprise, Ivankov was arrested, tried, and sentenced to nine years in prison in the United States in 1997, where the FBI considered him one of the most powerful men in the Russian mafia. Then, in 2004, he was extradited to Russia on murder charges, where – I am sure you guessed it – he was acquitted and freed, much like Semyon Mogilevich was earlier this year.
Funny how the violent mobsters always seem to draw more favorable parole and early release decisions from the courts under the current government than political prisoners such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.