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A 46-year-old Russian soldier who murdered his own mother has been buried with military honours.
Sergei Molodtsov was killed while fighting in Ukraine as part of the Wagner Private Military Company and, despite his shocking conviction, he was bestowed with a hero's funeral in Serov – a mining town located on the eastern foothills of the Ural Mountains in the Sverdlovsk Oblast region.
Media reports in Yekaterinburg have claimed that Molodtsov had been recruited by Wagner – a group that has been described as a network of law-less mercenaries who are Vladimir Putin's de facto private army – from a penal colony, where he had been serving his murder sentence.
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But a town administrator also paid a glowing tribute to the dead troop that made no mention of his heinous crime in the following statement: "He was a creative person; he was fond of bone carving and worked in a jewellery shop.
Relatives remember Sergei as a remarkably unconventional man who loved life.
"He was an honest man. Truth was what mattered the most to him.
"He was always there for those in trouble, for those in need of help. Such people are called fun-loving guys.
"He loved music, freedom and speed. Blessed memory!"
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Molodtsov's criminal record was verified, however, by the head of the Serov municipality, who said: "He had been serving a sentence for a serious crime. He was a murderer."
The killer's coffin was carried by members of the military during his funeral on January 5 with farewell speeches also made by veterans extolling his courage.
During Molodtsov's criminal case, it was revealed that he was intoxicated in an apartment when he delivered "no less than six blows" to his mother's head and torso, aiming kicks and punches at her.
Earlier this month, meanwhile, it was revealed that one of the prisoners Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin promised freedom to had been jailed for the murder of his grandmother, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War.
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