Alexander Solonik, photo appeared on Russian television, soon after the news about his death surfaced
Alexander Viktorovich Solonik
16 October 1960
|Died||31 January 1997[Note 1] (aged 36)|
|Cause of death||Strangulation|
Greek (false citizenship)
|Other names||The Macedonian |
|Allegiance||Orekhovskaya criminal group|
Alexander Viktorovich Solonik (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ви́кторович Соло́ник, 16 October 1960 – 31 January 1997) was a Russian gangster, known for his reputation as a notorious contract killer in the Russian criminal underworld. Also known as The Macedonian,[Note 2] Superkiller and Valerianych, Solonik was involved in Russian Mob activity for much of the 1990s until disappearing after his second escape from prison. Solonik was discovered dead in Athens, Greece, in 1997.
Alexander Viktorovich Solonik was born on 16 October 1960, in Kurgan, Soviet Union. As a child he showed great interest in martial arts and firearms. When finishing school, Solonik was conscripted into the Soviet Army and was assigned to a tank regiment, a part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. After his conscription ended, Solonik joined the OMON police agency and eventually received training at the Gorkovskiy Institute. However, after 6 months he was expelled for extreme violence towards suspects, and upon returning home, Solonik obtained a job as a gravedigger at the Kurgan cemetery. Soon after returning to Kurgan he married, and his wife gave birth to a daughter, but they eventually divorced. Solonik remarried another woman with whom he had a son, and in 1987 he was charged with rape and sentenced to 8 years in prison. During a farewell meeting with his wife before he was imprisoned, Solonik escaped by jumping from the second floor of the building. After several months he was apprehended 120 miles (190 km) north of Kurgan, and taken to the prison.
In prison Solonik was designated to solitary confinement because he served on active duty and had some police training, but later was transferred to serve his prison sentence among the other prisoners. When it became known to the other inmates that Solonik had worked for the police, he was marked for death. According to rumour, Solonik took on as many as 12 inmates at a time, earning the respect of his fellow prisoners. After 2 years of imprisonment, he escaped again.
Solonik went back home to Kurgan, joined the local criminal organization, and started work as a hitman. Solonik's first target, the leader of a rival organization, was murdered in 1990 in Tyumen. After this hit, Solonik went to Moscow with other members of the Kurgan organization to seek work. In 1992, Solonik assassinated Russian thief in law Viktor Nikiforov, and six months later he murdered another important Russian Mob boss. This time the victim was thief-in-law Valeri Dlugatsj, who was shot in a crowded nightclub even though he was surrounded by bodyguards. In 1994, Solonik eliminated Vladislav Vinner, Dlugatsj's replacement. It was reported that in 1994, Solonik tried to extort money from another Russian mobster, who made a phone call to settle the extortion. Solonik immediately identified him as Otari Kvantrishvili, one of the most powerful mobsters in Russia. Apparently, Solonik was unable to extort money from Kvantrishvili, and several weeks later murdered him in revenge. However, the story is doubtful as other people from a gang unrelated to Solonik were convicted in 2008 for Kvantrishvili's murder, and rumours spread that he was supported by Chechnian groups.
By this time, Solonik had become infamous among the criminal underworld and law enforcement figures in Russia. Law enforcement took a special interest, and made several attempts to apprehend him. Solonik and a fellow criminal were apprehended by Moscow police when they were having a drink at a marketplace, but the police failed to check Solonik thoroughly, and he opened fire in the police station with a small automatic weapon which he concealed under a raincoat. Three policemen were struck and Solonik ran outside, where he shot two more police officers. Solonik was also shot and cornered, but managed to hold back the officers. Eventually he was overpowered and surrendered, being sent to Moscow prison Matrosskaya Tishina and underwent an operation to remove the bullet in his kidney. In 1995, Solonik escaped prison yet again when his jailer, Sergey Menshikov, rumoured to be a mob sleeper agent, provided him with a pistol and climbing equipment. Having placed a mannequin under the blanket of his bed to delay pursuit, Solonik escaped using the climbing equipment to rappel down from the prison roof. This time Solonik had very limited hiding places in Russia, as his name and face were known to the authorities and general public, but he managed to disappear without being re-apprehended.
Eventually Solonik surfaced in Greece with a fake passport, which he secured from the Greek consulate in Moscow. In Greece, Solonik set up his own organization of around 50 men, which dealt in drug smuggling and contract killings, and bought several villas in an Athens suburb. Solonik's reputation now grew to legendary proportions with the public, and he was featured in Russia's top ten "Most Wanted" list.
In February 1997, Greek newspapers published articles that claimed a Russian Mob boss had been found dead 15 miles (24 km) from Athens. The body of the mobster was found strangled to death and had no identification documents, though the authorities nevertheless identified the body as Alexander Solonik. In the weeks after Solonik's body was found, Greek authorities raided the villas belonging to Solonik's organization and found an arsenal of weapons. They also discovered that Solonik had been hired to carry out a "hit" in Italy before his death.
- Solonik's solicitor Valeriy Karyshev, who attended the police identification and burial, said that the dead man had little similarity with his former client. Solonik's mother, who identified the corpse as her son's body, didn't attend the funeral
- A reference to Alexander the Great and Solonik's Greek descent and ability to shoot handguns from both hands, in Russian called a Macedonian shooting (Russian: Стрельба по-македонски)
- "The Life and Death of Russian Killer Number One", 24 Jan 2003, Pravda
- Александр Солоник, он же Македонский
- Криминальные авторитеты воры в законе
- "The hitmen who stalk Russia", 8 October 2006, BBC
- Курганский терминатор
- "The most successful escape...", May 07, 2013, RT.com
- Биография Александра Солоника
- "Body of Accused Cop-Killer Reported Found in Athens", 5 Feb 1997, Valeria Korchagina, Moscow Times
- Забытая сенсация: суперкиллер Салоник и Александр Литвиненко дружили домами