Hayder Zakirov

Hayder Zakirov

"The Godfather" of Kazan
Country: Russia

Content:
  1. "Godfather" of Kazan
  2. Rise to Power
  3. The Leader's Territory

"Godfather" of Kazan

Zakirov took the lead of a youth gang, which included boys from 9 to 20 years old, living on several streets in Kazan. He grew up in the remote district of Kazan called Zhilploshchadka. The inhabitants of this area were peasants who had moved to the city in search of a better life. They lived in tiny rooms in barracks, with one shared kitchen and an outdoor toilet. They would go to the public bathhouse on weekends. Like his friends, Haydar spent his days in the yard. There was no time for school. Every morning, he would run, do push-ups and pull-ups on a homemade horizontal bar. Once, in a fight to defend his territory, he pulled out a knife from his pocket and injured an "enemy," which earned him unquestionable authority among the local gang.

Rise to Power

Zakirov took the lead of a youth gang, which included boys from 9 to 20 years old, living on several streets in Kazan. In order to bind each fighter with blood, Haydar made all the 13-18 year old "new recruits" carry cold weapons such as knives, brass knuckles, or metal pipes. Those who didn't have these weapons were brutally beaten. The first mention of "Zhilka" as a united criminal group appeared in 1984. Kazan locals still remember January 15th. On that day, 60 youth gangs from Kazan clashed at Lebyazhye Lake over territory disputes. Zakirov was the instigator of the bloody brawl. He was sentenced to six years in prison. However, the arrest of their leader did not stop the "Zhilkovtsy" from rising to power in the criminal world. From prison, Haydar instructed his comrades on how to earn capital properly. Under his guidance, the gang collected protection money from every businessman in the city. And with the release of their leader, the brigade entered the center stage.

The Leader's Territory

Upon his release, Zakirov built a restaurant called "Rezeda" next to his house for meetings, business discussions, and simply hanging out. He wanted to install an elevator from the fifth floor directly to the restaurant balcony of his apartment. Haydar's fighters guarded the yard 24/7, officially serving as janitors or security guards in businesses controlled by "Zhilka."

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