A retired police colonel carrying 5 million rubles (almost $90,000) was hospitalized in St. Petersburg on Monday, according to the local news site Fontanka. In addition to the money, the decorated former officer was carrying several other suspicious items.
According to Fontanka, paramedics picked up the man late in the evening on June 5, roaming the streets drunk. At the hospital, the man refused to identify himself. Paramedics were then surprised to discover on his person documents identifying him as Andrey Troshev, along with 5 million rubles and $5,000 in cash, maps of Syria, weapons records, and a plane ticket to Krasnodar.
The patient refused to explain his possessions and doctors say they have informed the authorities.
Andrey Troshev is a veteran of Russia’s wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, reportedly serving as an artillery commander in the 1980s and later in St. Petersburg’s special police forces. Fontanka says Troshev was awarded some of the highest state distinctions in Russia and has a reputation as an honorable officer.
Fontanka’s sources say Troshev currently works for a man named Dmitry Utkin, also known as “Wagner,” who’s suspected of leading a group of Russian mercenaries now operating in Syria. Uktin has been spotted on trips with representatives of billionaire Evgeny Prigozhin’s security service, and he’s believed to have worked with Prigozhin’s catering business, “Concord.”