A NOTORIOUS Russian mobster freed from jail to fight in Putin's war in Ukraine was reportedly executed after trying to flee the frontline.
Zaur Aliyev, 47, released under a controversial scheme which saw him sign up for mad Vlad's private army the Wagner Group, was executed after trying to desert in Ukraine.
The crime boss was serving an 18-year sentence at one of Russia's infamous penal colonies when he was freed last month under the scheme announced by "Putin's chef" and Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Prigozhin, a close ally of the Russian president, announced the scheme in September, which offers murderers and other hardened criminals their freedom in return for six months of fighting on the frontline.
Announcing the scheme at a high-security prison in Mordovia, western Russia, Prigozhin, who is accused of numerous atrocities as part of the Wagner Group, tells the gathered convicts they will become war heroes or be shot as deserters.
The programme has already sparked outrage among Russian opposition figures after it was revealed a convicted cannibal, Yegor Komarov, was among the recruits for Vlad's bloodthirsty mercenaries.
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Prigozhin, who previously denied his ties to the Wagner Group, which has fought covert operations for Putin around the world, appeared to confirm his leadership of the private army as he announced the scheme.
Reports claim 10s of thousands of convicts including killers and rapists have flooded out of Russia's jails since the announcement.
Under the programme, volunteers must spend at least six months on the frontline, after which, if they remain alive, the rest of their sentence is wiped clean and they are formally pardoned by the Kremlin.
Aliyev, previously the leader of one of the most powerful Azerbaijani criminal clans in Moscow, was detained by cops in November 2014.
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He was a third of the way through his sentence for extortion, kidnapping and robbery when he signed up to fight in Ukraine.
But now a channel on the Telegram messaging app purporting to have links to the Wagner Group claims Aliyev was executed after trying to flee his position.
The channel, VChK-OGPU, reported that Aliyev – nicknamed Zaika or rabbit – "decided to run away".
Private military company fighters quickly caught Aliyev and he was shot
It went on: "According to our source, private military company fighters quickly caught Aliyev and he was shot."
Multi-millionaire Prigozhin, 61, gained his nickname after previously serving as Putin's chef at Kremlin banquets.
Last month, he made it clear that prisoners who tried to escape would be summarily executed, despite such acts being illegal.
"The first sin is deserting," he announced in the secretly-recorded video. "No one deserts, no one gives up, no one surrenders.
"You'll be taught what to do regarding surrender."
He explained that Wagner Group mercenaries were expected to take their own lives and not allow themselves to be taken prisoner by the enemy.
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Prigozhin added that each volunteer would be provided with "two grenades," one to kill the enemy, and one to blow themselves up with.
He also said that drugs and alcohol were banned from the frontline, as well as sex with "local women, men, flora, fauna, anyone".
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