Violent ‘Hunter x Hunter’-inspired gang from Moscow now terrorizing Ukraine

Violent ‘Hunter x Hunter’-inspired gang from Moscow now terrorizing Ukraine
via @savagejames7
Bryan Ke
March 3, 2023
A gang member believed to be the ringleader of a notorious Moscow gang inspired by the anime “Hunter x Hunter” was recently arrested in Ukraine.
The gang, known as the “PMC Ryodan” — or “Redan PMC,” as some media outlets have referred to them — was recently spotted in several Ukrainian cities in the past week, notably in the capital Kyiv, as well as Lviv and Kharkiv.
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A 16-year-old, the group’s purported ringleader, was reportedly arrested in Dnipro, a city in central Ukraine, on Tuesday.
Ukraine’s national police have blamed Russia for attempting to export the influence of the group, which often has underage members, into Ukraine.
Authorities said on Tuesday that police have already blocked 18 channels and groups on Telegram, the platform the gang reportedly uses to communicate with each other when organizing violent meet-ups.
Officers accused Russia of creating the channels to “conduct Russian military information campaigns, undermine the domestic situation in Ukraine and involve minors in illegal activities.”
Ukraine’s national police also said that around 30 youth gatherings were organized in different parts of the country in just two days. 
They added, “Law enforcement officers immediately responded and prevented conflicts among teenagers.”
Authorities said they had successfully prevented a violent flash mob of 245 participants, 215 of whom were minors, in Kharkiv. Volodymyr Tymoshko, Kharkiv city’s police chief, said they found weapons in the participants’ possession, such as “gas canisters, knives and brass knuckles.”
Tymoshko believes the youngsters were gathered in the city by Russian security services through “manipulation and deception, and they should have started a fight so the Russian TV could use it.”
The violent gang was first widely reported following an incident at the Aviapark mall in northern Moscow on Feb. 19.
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The group reportedly started a fight with another group over chairs in a food court and decided to meet the following day for a fight in Aviapark.
Several similar incidents have been reported across other major Russian cities. Russian police detained 350 people — 319 of whom were minors — on Saturday and Sunday as authorities noted that some participants were carrying pepper spray, knives and airsoft pistols.
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Besides the violence, PMC Ryodan is also notorious for its intolerance of migrants and the Muslim population living in Russia’s Caucasus region.
The group’s violent actions have also attracted the attention of the Krelim, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov calling the gang a “pseudo-subculture that doesn’t offer anything good to our young people.”
PMC Ryodan, the acronym short for “Private Military Company,” reportedly took its name from a group of ruthless bandits in the popular anime and manga series “Hunter x Hunter,” created by Yoshihiro Togashi.
In the series, the group operates as a 13-member criminal organization known as the Gen’ei Ryodan that also goes by other names, such as the Phantom Troupe or the Spiders. Each member has a designated number tattooed on different parts of their body with their signature 12-legged spider logo, with the legs representing the 12 members and the head as the leader.
Meanwhile, members of the PMC Ryodan gang wear black hoodies with the spider logo and numbers printed on the back.
It is unclear how the group was formed, but the Telegram channel founder arrested in Dnipro on Tuesday said in a video that he created the channel for money.
“I am the founder of a group with about 2,500 members,” he said. “I created it to make money from advertising posts, as the topic of Redan is popular on social media. I ask everyone to stop organizing meetings and looking for Redanists.”
A 15-year-old girl who organized a similar event told the police that she only did it “just for hype” and insisted that “there is no Redan [in] Kyiv.” She also claimed to believe that the fascination with the group was “straight-up Russian propaganda.” 
“I ask that you not believe such information and focus on caring about our guys who are now fighting.”

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