Bloody Hunting in Kharkov (Part Two)

On November 25, 2019 marks the month since the high-profile events in Kharkiv - a bloody massacre in the city center that led to the hospitalization of one and the death of two people.

In particular, then, with 5 gunshot wounds, 41-year-old Heorhii Isakov, known in the criminal environment as «Boxer» or «Zhorik», was admitted to the hospital (but survived).

Heorhii Isakov

The fate of other participants in the shooting was more fatal.

Initially, a 40-year-old Kharkiv resident Volodymyr Borokh, nicknamed «Tyson», died in an ambulance from a bullet piercing the pulmonary artery.

Volodymyr Borokh

And then, as a result of a grenade explosion, his murderer, former resident of Horlivka, Donetsk region, 47-year-old Oleksiy Titov was killed near the South Railway Station.

The dignitaries who have become heroes of this saga are united by problems with the law in their lives. In particular, Titov was serving a sentence for attempted outrageous murder in the 1990s in the city of Horlivka    by the «authorities» from the so-called «Yenakievo group» - Valentin and Vasyl Kostikovyi, nicknamed «Odinakovye (Identical)».

Isakov has no criminal record, although he has repeatedly been held accountable and has acted as a defendant in proceedings involving articles of extortion, hooliganism and weapons and the like.

Borokh, the boxing master, has been sentenced, but got free in court in a doubtful case over the abduction of the Briton Steve Belis in the spring of 2013.

It is no wonder, then, that the “criminal thread” was caught by the police, trying to find out the motives and all those involved in the massacre. However, as it is often the case in Ukraine, several «political imprints» were imposed on it at once.

The fact is that the dead «Tyson» was planned to be involved as a witness of defense in another resonant case - the murder of the former deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Denis Voronenko in the spring of 2017 in the center of Kyiv.

According to Detective-Info, Borokh had to tell him about the circumstances of the crime in court. The Tyson’s testimony was allegedly used as evidence of the innocence of the civilian husband of his sister, Natalia, Oleksandr Los, who was accused of aiding and abetting the shooting of Voronenkov.

Oleksandr Los (on the left) and Volodymyr Borokh in the Dnepropetrovsk pre-trial detention center

It is indeed known that Borokh and Los were detained together in the case in the summer of 2017. In addition, from the time of the joint stay in the walls of the Dnepropetrovsk pre-trial detention center these men were acquainted with another person involved in the «Voronenkov case» - a wanted representative of the «right movement» Yurii Levenets, nicknamed Hunter (who, according to the investigation, has found for the killer of the former deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and involved as his driver Yaroslav Tarasenko).

During his lifetime, Borokh told Detective-Info that he had a meeting with him after Levenets was wanted in the spring of 2017. Where Hunter seemed to be discussing options with Tyson, but later disappeared from the field of view ...

In fact, because of all these nuances, the death of Volodymyr Borokh was initially attempted to be linked to the shooting of Voronenkov. And when two months after the death of Tyson, the Los’ lawyer - Sviatoslav Parkhomenko was killed in the Zhytomyr region, the situation was completely confused.

However, law enforcement officials are not fit to draw parallels between the death of a lawyer and a relative of his client. They deem it to be a series of tragic coincidences, but in fact Sviatoslav Parkhomenko and Volodymyr Borokh were killed as a result of unrelated circumstances. Moreover, in the case of the latter, the killer was more likely to try not to hunt for «Tyson» but for his «employer» Isakov.

Detective-Info found out who the Titov assassin’s trail has ultimately led to, who and why has repeatedly organized the attacks on the «Boxer», his associates and other iconic personalities of Kharkiv, as well as how related officials, local criminal authorities and «displaced persons» from the Donetsk region.


«Kharkov deals»

As a starting point for this story, one should take into account the events that began after Viktor Yanukovych's escape in the spring of 2014 in the Donbass. The consequences of the riots and military confrontation here were not only the capture of representatives of the so-called «DPR» in a significant part of the region's official power institutions, but also the significant migration in the criminal environment.

As a result, some dignitaries well-known in the close circles moved from the occupied territory to the official Kyiv controlled area. In our case, among other things, we will talk about the manager of the Ukrainian Boxing Club League and the president of the Yenakievo boxing federation, Volodymyr Manukian, who chose Kharkov as the new residence.

Volodymyr Manukian (marked with arrows in the photo)

It is rumored that the appearance of the Donbass-led landing at the birthplace of philosopher Gregory Skovoroda was «sanctioned» by government officials. Allegedly these state men gave the «Donetsk criminality» a «green light» to use it to tip the scales in their favor in the process of redistribution of spheres of influence directly in Kharkiv region.

Even the Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, indirectly acknowledged this fact. In the summer of 2016, he told reporters that two groups headed by Volodymyr Manukian and previously sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment for murder (serving a sentence in the colony of Donetsk) Vadim Kazartsev, nicknamed «Kniaz», got very active in Kharkiv.

Serhii Storozhenko (on the left) and Vadim Kazartsev

The Minister of Internal Affairs hinted that these «guys» seemed to be operating under the coverage of the Mayor Hennadii Kernes and the head of the RSA, headed by Ihor   Rainin at the time. He strongly rejected the latest criticisms of the connection with criminal elements. However, it was during his office in Kharkiv that the conflict between certain groups of dignitaries, which were used in their own manipulations by representatives of political clans from the environment of Hennadii Kernes, Ihor Rainin, Serhii Storozhenko, Arsen Avakov and others, escalated. Each of them tried to play their own game at certain stages, but later the cards got all shuffled.


Power redistribution war

Initially, the status quo was thought to be such that “Kniaz” maintained a close relationship with the then adviser to Governor Storozhenko, and Manukian focused on Rainin personally. However, further activity developed by the «Donetsk migrants» in Kharkiv region has led to a conflict with the local «masters of life». It is rumoured that Heorhii Isakov, who at one time was close to the founder of Oplot murdered in the fall of 2016, Yevhen Zhilin, was appointed as the one who had to keep the «avid migrants» at bay.

The fact that “Kniaz” was the “Boxer's” choice as the helper of the bullying action did not cause much surprise to the experts of «Kharkiv deals». The fact is that in recent years, Isakov has earned himself the glory of a «specialist» in the implementation of the so-called «direct action» such as proxy battles. And among those who did use his «services», most often mentioned were the names of the same Kazartsev and Vladislav Bezruk, known in certain circles as «Mamont» and the head of the Legion company.

In early 2016, an acute phase of fighting for spheres of influence begins between the Donetsk and the local criminals, witnessed by the shocked visitors and staff of the five-star Kharkiv Palace Hotel. On January 14 of that year, Rustam Kulik, previously convicted of committing assault in Kharkiv, and the three people from Donetsk region were gathered at a table on the ground floor of an elite hotel. They were Oleksandr Karashchenko nicknamed «Sasha», Roman Glatskyh and the Manukian’s «right hand man» - president of the Donetsk League of Boxing Clubs Oleksandr Mavrin, known in certain circles as «Mantus».

Volodymyr Manukian (center) and Oleksandr Mavrin (right)

Oleksandr Mavrin awarding a young boxer

 The conversation of these men was interrupted by the unexpected appearance of three dozen young men in track suits, with the faces partially hidden by hoods. These «athletes» circled «Mantus» and Co, and after a brief exchange of replicas started beating up the Manukian's associates mercilessly.

The beating of Oleksandr Mavrin in a Kharkov hotel

Oleksandr Mavrin shortly after the beating

Such hooliganism was registered as a criminal proceeding, to which no one has been formally suspected to this day. However, both operatives and representatives of «semi-criminal» circles agreed that the beating of Mavrin involved Bezruk’s «legionnaires» under the direct leadership of «Boxer».

The response of the Donetsk people to such a «boldness» was not delayed: since then Kharkiv has been periodically shuddering at the wreckage of a large-scale «criminal war».


The Bloody Chronicle

It is the echo of the further series of assassinations of the lives and murders of those who were related to Isakov, as the Detective-Info interlocutors claim. The “Boxer's” company saw a «trace» of Manukian's men here, and when a black cat ran between Isakov and “Kniaz”, the latter also fell under suspicion.

In particular, on November 22, 2016, an attempt was made on Isakov near the building 5/7 down Harshina Street in Kharkiv, where he lived. The killers who tried to shoot and injure him were previously repeatedly convicted “Mantus’” countryman Serhii Laukhin and Donetsk resident Abib Mirzabekov.

After being detained, they pleaded guilty, but at the time of the trial they simultaneously communicated a different version. According to this version, after being released from prison, Mirzabekov and Laukhin met a friend named Yevhen, who asked them to follow the “Boxer’s” car because he had allegedly abused some girl. The tracker was hitched on Isakov's car, determining his whereabouts. After that, Yevhen allegedly handed over the Kalashnikov assault rifles to his «friends», assuring them that the ammunition was blank (in fact it was a lie), so one should simply «frighten» the «Boxer».

Isakov refused to testify in the case of an attempt on his life. The verdict of the Kyiv district court of Mirzabekov and Laukhin justified them on part of the charges relating to the attempted murder. This decision was subsequently overturned on appeal and is now being heard by the trial court (the suspects are being held in custody).

Unlike this case, the other crimes, which were subsequently injured by “Boxer's” associates, are still not discovered. These are three resonant cases:

  • - shooting near the home the civilian wife of the «authoritative» businessman Eduard Akselrod, nicknamed «Liopa» in November 2017;
  • - “Mamont” (Bezruk’s) assassination attempt at the Yod Sports Club in the fall of 2018;
  • - Attempts on Denis Bykov by the nickname «Kham» and Volodymyr Borokh this spring.

Currently, the circumstances of each of these episodes are being investigated within separate criminal proceedings. However, the environment of Isakov saw in them a common handwriting and a source of origin of problems. Allegedly, the attempts to destroy the “Boxer’s” people were made by a conglomeration of Manukian and Kazartsev.

According to the rumours, Isakov seemed to try to re-establish relations with “Kniaz” and even met him in person. However, as time testified, this did not save him from further trouble that his enemies had prepared on October 25.


Who is considered to be the Borokh’s killer and what does the great politics have to do with it?

On that day, Isakov, Bykov and Borokh had a meeting with the two merchants at the coffee shop of the “Vostorh” supermarket on Klochkovska Street.

Some media sources and bloggers have indicated that Oleksiy Titov has also taken part in the meeting. However, this is not true - in fact, the killer waited for the right time and did not enter the premises of “Vostorh” supermarket. Only when Boxer and Tyson went outside and got into their own car did he approach them from the driver's side.

Titov was found to have worn a bulletproof vest and was dressed in black clothing, which is why at first Isakov considered it as a matter of urgency that he was asked by law enforcement agencies or he had to be detained. However, for an instant, the stranger's intentions became clear when he pointed a bag with a gun inside it at the “Boxer”. The latter sharply opened the door and seemed to have thwarted the killer's intentions (he had his weapon jammed) ...

After that, Borokh and the “Boxer” grabbed their guns and started firing at their abuser. In his turn, the latter fire struck both Isakov and “Tyson”. He made every attempt to kill his opponents, and even did a car manoeuvre around the parking lot.

In the future, Titov left the scene and set fire to the car he was driving. Leaking with blood, the injured killer took the public transport and found himself on a bench near the train station. When, due to this circumstance, passers-by called the police, and an explosion occurred: Oleksiy has literally lost his head ...

As for his opponents, despite five wounds, “Boxer” survived. Borokh's heart stopped at noon on October 25 in an ambulance. Moments earlier, he allegedly referred to “Kniaz” as the person involved in the assassination attempt. People from Kazartsev's surroundings responded that the latter had nothing to do with the attempt to kill Isakov.

However, the materials of the criminal proceedings concerning the death of Titov, who had a widest range of weapons in his cottage house in the Dergachiv district, suggest quite a different explanation. According to her, law enforcement officers check Oleksii's involvement in a number of other high-profile violent crimes committed in Kharkiv region. But they received prompt information that the supplier of weapons and ammunition (in particular for the attempt on the life of the Boxer), could be a countryman killer.

The court register of this person states that he had previously lived near Titov in Horlivka; the men had maintained close social relations since childhood. In addition, there are additional nuances that have prompted investigators to believe that this Titov's friend was involved in the bloody events in Kharkiv on October 25.

Firstly, according to the telephone connections scheme, the man often was in the area of Oleksii’s summer house in the Ruska-Lozova village, where the weapon «cachet» was later discovered.

Secondly, a month before “Boxer's” assassination attempt, Titov activated his mobile number and made an outgoing «zero» call ... to his childhood friend. According to investigators, it was with the reference to the appropriate telephone number that the customers further coordinated the killer using Internet messengers for a «closed» channel of communication.

Thirdly, shortly after the «bloody massacre» in the center of Kharkiv - October 27, a countryman Titov crossed the state border of Ukraine towards the Russian Federation on foot. As of now, he has not returned to our country legally, and his whereabouts are still unknown.

Who turned out to be a viable accomplice to the killer Oleksii Titov? According to an informed source Detective-Info, we are talking about a native of Horlivka Eduard Karnitskyi.


Eduard Karnitskyi

Karnitskyi is known to domestic sports connoisseurs as the first coach of the famous Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Hvozdyk. However, in Kharkiv he is known by other regalia - Eduard is one of the representatives of the closest circle and the personal bodyguard of ... Vadym Kazartsev.

Karnitskyi was sitting next to “Kniaz” at the Kharkov Palace of Students of the National Law University named after Yaroslav the Wise in March 2016 at the celebration of the presentation of the «Military Diary» book. The honored guests of the event among the representatives of the local authorities were sitting in the front rows - at that time the chairman of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Ihor   Rainin, his adviser Serhii Storozhenko and a bunch of other distinguished persons.

At the moment, Karnitskyi's profile is not in the police database of persons hiding from law enforcement agencies. In addition, neither he nor Kazartsev have been formally suspected of involvement in the bloody events near “Vostorh” on October 25, 2019.

However, at the end of last month, some journalists covering the criminal topics received a report titled “On the coverage of certain aspects of the criminal environment of Kharkiv region and its characters” from the certain law enforcement agencies.

This “certificate”, the authenticity of which is not possible to confirm or deny (but the analysis of the text suggests that it was put together by the person who uses the databases of law enforcement) says that Oleksii Titov appeared to act as a «regular killer» used by “Kniaz” to commit a number of high-profile crimes in Kharkiv.

Specifically, it is Titov who is credited with the assassination of Samvel Aleksanian in the fall of 2012 (allegedly in retaliation for the merchant's personal conflict with Kazartsev's daughter), an attempt in early 2015 on Oleksandr Bobrov (allegedly selected as a result of the killer’s mistake, being mistaken for the Kharkiv Regional State Administration deputy head Ihor Baluta) and the shooting at the cemetery of Yurii Diment - partner and closest friend of Kharkiv mayor Hennadii  Kernes in February 2016.

On the coverage of certain aspects of the criminal environment of Kharkiv region and its main participants

As of October 2019, a threatening criminogenic situation has arisen, which was made possible by the direct involvement of the heads of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, Kharkiv Regional State Administration, and USBU (Security Agency of Ukraine) in Kharkiv and the Prosecutor's Office in the Kharkiv region in the times of Petro Poroshenko. Existing problems were deliberately ignored by the heads of the State Security Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv region and the Prosecutor's Office of Kharkiv region under the patronage of Ihor Lvovich Rainin, Serhii Mykhailovych Storozhenko, the former chief of UBSU Andrii Volodymyrovych Nosach and the prosecutor of Kharkiv region Oleksandr Bronislavovych Danilchenko.

Sources from the environment Rainin I.L. confirm the stable connection of the latter with the organizer and the head of the criminal group Vadym Oleksiiyovych Kazartsev (criminal nickname – “Kniaz”), born 13.07.1960, individual taxpayer’s number 2210922339, a resident of Kharkiv, repeatedly convicted of criminal offenses. “Kniaz” is unofficially controlling the activity of the Legion law company, officially managed by Bezruk Vladislav Viktorovich (criminal name – “Mamont”) / at that time /.

One of the key links in resolving the commercial interests of the above individuals through the exercise of force is to determine the following person, controlled and managed by Manukian and “Kniaz”:

Titov Oleksiy Volodymyrovich, January born 01.01.1972 in Horlivka, Donetsk region, citizen of Ukraine, individual taxpayer’s number 2629834992, place of registration - 21 Moskalenko St., apt. 26, Horlivka, Donetsk region.

 According to available information, Titov O.V. up to the time of his death was a part of the criminal group of Volodymyr Manukian. Manukian is the right hand of Armen Sarkisian (“Armen Horlivksyi”), who has the criminal title of «thief in law» and is currently in France. It was Rainin who contributed to the establishment of Manukian as a criminal authority in the Kharkiv region, which provoked opposition of the adviser to the Chairman of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, Storozhenko S.M.

Criminal activity of Titov O.V. consisted of executing the orders of Manukian on killings the persons directly related to or managing business processes in the region through the involvement of their proxies. It should be noted that it was Rainin and Manukian who were the beneficiaries of the physical elimination of competitors, which prevented the illegal seizure of assets, which led to the redistribution of areas of influence.

It should be noted that Titov's killer has been “working” in the Kharkiv region for a long time, and the first confirmed episode of the murder with his involvement dates back to September 16, 2012 regarding the assassination of Aleksanian S.S.

  1. The murder of Aleksanian S.S. was preceded by an interpersonal conflict on a domestic basis between the said person and daughter of Kazartsev Vadym Oleksiyovych (criminal nickname – “Kniaz”). The main reason for Kazartsev to make an order to kill for Titov was the desire of revenge. The samples of biological material were not available at the scene to identify the killer / at the time of the crime /.
  2. The next case of Titov’s criminal offence is an attempt to assassinate Bobrov O.V., the resident of Kharkiv, whom Titov mistakenly identified as the former governor of Kharkiv oblast Baluta I.M., based on the external coincidence of these personalities and the both of them driving the BMWs, similar in appearance. The reason for the organization of the murder of Baluta I.M. were the long-standing unfriendly relations Baluta I.M. and Rainin I.L., which were formed when the latter was subordinate to Baluta. It is this version that was confirmed during the investigation into the attempted assassination of Bobrov O.V. It was after the unsuccessful attempt on Baluta I.M. that Rainin was appointed the Chairman of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration.
  3. The biological materials found at the scene of the murder of Diment Y.B. on 26.02.2016, who was close to the Kharkiv Mayor Kernes H.A.,, coincided with biological materials removed from the site of the attempted murder of Bobrov O.V. and the site of murder of Aleksanian S.S.

The person having the main interest in the murder of Diment Y.B. was exactly the governor of the Kharkiv region Rainin I.L., who aimed to reduce the influence of Kernes H.A. on the city of Kharkiv, and then replace him with Svitlychna Y.O. Moreover, 

Manukian was another person interested in Diment's death, as Diment, in his own belief, supported (at the time) the opposite party to the conflict that arose at the Kharkiv-Palace Hotel as described below.

  1. On October 25, 2019 Titov O.V. started firing at a group of persons, resulting in the death of Borokh Volodymyr (criminal name - «Tyson») from gunshot wounds, and Isakov Heorhii Volodymyrovych (criminal name «Zhora», «Boxer») receiving numerous gunshot wounds. Titov accidentally blasted a hand grenade at his attempt to escape from the crime scene, causing his death. Analysis of biological materials from the Titov’s crime scene confirmed his involvement in the assassination of Aleksanian S.S., Diment Y.B. and the attempted murder of Bobrov O.V.
  2. The materials of the pre-trial investigations of these crimes clearly establish the role of Titov OV as a direct executor on the orders of the persons mentioned above. According to the available operational information, Manukian and Kazartsev have always has a united opinion on the murder or the commercial or political reasons in favour of Rainin I.L.

It should also be noted that there already were some attempts on Isakov H.V. in November 2016, made to physically destroy him, which failed to produce the desired result (obtaining gunshot wounds with further treatment). Such actions against Isakov were a response to his office on January 14, 2016 by some representatives of the criminal world beating at Kharkiv-Palace Hotel. Thus, at the request of Serhii Mykhailovych Storozhenko on the grounds of weakening his influence on Rainin as a result of the approach of Manukian, «Kniaz» carried out the beating of representatives of the criminal environment of the Kharkiv region, close to Manukian and «Armen Horlivksyi» (criminal name - «Mantus») and Kulik R.L., with the people from the «Legion». The said action was carried out under the direct leadership of Isakov H.V., who specializes in the violent crimes, related to the raider enterprise seizures, maintains regular contacts with the head of the Eastern Union Public Association Shyryiaiev O.V.

At present Isakov H.V. is the bearer of unwanted information regarding the instructions of Kazartsev and Manukian to carry out certain force actions in favour of Rainin I.L.; in the case of confirmation of Rainin's involvement in the commissioned killings, the key role will be played by Isakov.

It is the inaction and corruption of the heads of the UBSU and the Prosecutor's Office of Kharkiv region, their close business relations with the representative of the criminal world of Kharkiv region, lack of proper control on the part of the management of the respective departments, as well as the deceitful respect based on the erroneous authority of the former Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Rainin I.L., which allows the criminal business to go unpunished for seven years and create considerable tension in the region's already criminally difficult situation.

At present, People's Deputy of Ukraine Levochkin S.V. - the curator from the party “Oppozytsiina platforma – Za zhyttia!” (Opposition platform – For life!) of Kharkiv region, Rainin I.L. was recommended as the head of the regional branch of the party “Oppozytsiina platforma – Za zhyttia!” in Kharkiv region. Such a course of events causes deep misunderstanding and disappointment in the circles of local elites of Kharkiv region. This will lead to further destabilization in the political and economic plane.

However, only time and the impartial investigation will show whether it is true that the resident of Horlivka who dreamed of becoming a murderer from childhood, as well as other influential «authorities» and officials are involved in these resonant crimes.

This might happen in case if the law enforcement officials have the political will and the courage to bring these cases to court. And not leave the proceedings covered with dust...

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