Alexander Solonik wanted to become a police officer and clean up the mean streets of Moscow like a Cold War-era Soviet re-make of Dirty Harry, making mob bosses his bitch and asking various punks whether or not they felt lucky just before inserting a large-caliber bullet wound directly into their foreheads. Instead, he would become one of the most notorious hitmen in history and incidentally still achieve all of those same career aspirations. He was the ultimate assassin, a man who, to this day, is known throughout Russia by only one moniker – Superkiller.
Little is known of Alexander Solonik’s early years. Standing only five feet, six inches tall, he is believed to have served as a member of an elite Soviet special forces intelligence unit during the Cold War. Stationed in East Berlin and trained extensively in espionage, infiltration, small-arms operation, Sambo martial arts, and various counter-intelligence techniques, some say that he was part of an ultra-secret military group designed to assassinate NATO diplomats and other high-ranking Allied military officers like some kind of crazy mix between Jack Bauer and Ivan Drago. Other sources say he was just a security guard or a non-ranking member of some paramilitary militia, but this makes for a far less interesting story.
After bullshit Perestroika crippled the power of the Soviet Union, Solonik’s unit was disbanded and he returned home, where he enlisted in a prestigious Police Academy. Apparently, while at the academy Solonik was pulling all kinds of wacky, borderline-psychotic pranks on the chief like he was Steve Gutenberg or Officer Moses Hightower, because just a few months into his tenure he was unceremoniously discharged for reasons which were never declassified. Upset at having his dream crushed, Solonik found work as a grave digger. After a few months of spending ten hours a day digging fucking graves outdoors in the fucking freezing recesses of rural Russia, shit only got worse for Alexander when one of his psycho ex-girlfriends accused him of sexually assaulting her. He was rushed through trial, convicted on some highly circumstantial evidence (the woman allegedly even recanted her story at one point), and was sentenced to eight months in prison. Upon hearing his sentence, Solonik only asked for one thing – five minutes to say goodbye to his wife.
The police brought Solonik to the station to say his farewells, and soon as he had a moment alone with his wife he busted through a plate-glass window on the second story of the fucking police station, hit the ground in a perfect commando roll, and escaped into a nearby forest. Despite the fact that he was completely fucking surrounded by cops and Spetsnaz and shit, Solonik managed to make it all the way to goddamned Siberia before he was finally apprehended. Russian authorities captured him in a cosmetic surgery office while he was having all tattoos and distinguishing markings removed from his body.
This time, instead of just eight months in a minimum-security resort, they sentenced him to several years in a federal pound-me-in-the-ass Siberian gulag, where he could look forward to sub-zero temperatures three hundred days out of the year and long, cold afternoons whacking rocks with a fucking pickaxe while security guards shoved AK-47s in his face. His second day in the detention facility, word got out that Solonik had gone to the police academy, and he was jumped in the yard by twelve fucking big-ass convicted murders armed with goddamned shovels. He was unexpectedly smashed in the back of the head by a shovel like the star of a bad amateur YouTube prank, but somehow managed to take down one of the motherfuckers with a judo shoulder throw, steal his shovel, and then use it to single-handedly beat the ever-loving fuck out of all twelve inmates. Nobody messed with him again.
From that point on, Solonik became a man with a mission. He worked out relentlessly – lifting weights, cardio conditioning... even using those stupid giant plastic gym exercise balls for something other than just kicking them into his friends’ faces when they weren’t looking. When he’d had enough of the prison’s bullshit, one day he just pulled the grate off of a ventilation shaft, climbed through the air ducts, bypassed several guard patrols like Solid Snake without all the cardboard boxes and wacky exclamation points, and crawled his way out of the gulag.
On the run in Moscow, Solonik fell in with a Russian organized crime outfit where his skills and HK-47 style assassination protocols would be utilized to their utmost potential. Despite being a hardcore, Jules Winnfield-style badass assassin (badassin?) Solonik was more like Max Payne than Agent 47 in that his targets were almost exclusively high-ranking members of rival Russian mafia gangs – all bad dudes, reaping what they were sowing, and Solonik was their Grim Reaper. Now I know that most Russian mobsters will tell you that, “there’s no such thing as the Russian Mafia,” but during the mid-90’s there was a war raging through the seedy underbelly of the Moscow streets, and Solonik was the kind of man who dealt with shit like a badass motherfucker, taking out numerous underworld bosses by any means available to him.
Once time, there was a powerful crime lord traveling in a black armored car with heavily-tinted bulletproof glass windows, surrounded by a dozen well-trained elite mafia bodyguards. As the car rolled to a stop outside of a super-secret safehouse and the mobster stepped out onto the street in stylistic slow-motion while some crazy euro-trash techno music played in the background, Solonik capped this dude in the head from a concealed sniper’s nest on the roof of a building over three hundred yards away. Then he dropped six of the boss’ bodyguards before vanishing into the night like a homicidal Batman. Another time, this slimy criminal mastermind was snorting a bunch of coke off of some strippers in the back room of his high-end posh Moscow nightclub, surrounded by an escort of ex-Spestnaz gunmen, when all of a sudden the door was violently kicked in. Solonik activated bullet-time and dove head first into the room, firing two pistols and taking out all of the gangsters before they could even unholster their weapons. Then he probably had sex with the strippers for like ten hours straight. There was another time that he tried to blackmail one of the most powerful mob bosses in all of Russia, and of course the guy told Solonik to get bent. One month later, the boss and all of his closest associates were found dead in various parts of the city, killed by everything ranging from knife wounds to shotgun shells to the face.
During his time as a professional contract killer, Solonik quickly became the most feared man in Russia. No criminal was safe from him. He earned the nickname, “Alexander the Great”, not only because this is an incredibly clever play on his first name, but also because he was famous for going into gunfights “Macedonian Style” – the Russian term for dual-wielding pistols. I personally prefer to call it “John Woo Style”, and it is awesome.
Eventually, the law caught up with Alexander Solonik, and he was arrested by several officers on the streets of Moscow one morning. He agreed to go along with them peacefully, but right as they were preparing to enter the police station he whipped out the Scorpion submachine gun he had hiding under his jacket and opened fire. The cops chased him through the streets of Moscow, including through a crowded marketplace, all the while trading fire with the most dangerous man in the world. Solonik killed seven officers before he was shot in the kidney while trying to hop a chain-link fence. Cops at the scene would later remark that they couldn’t believe the accuracy of Solonik’s shots, even as he was running at full-speed and firing over his shoulder. Once cop claimed that he was hiding behind a concrete post and two of Solonik’s bullets hit in the exact same place, kind of like a modern-day Robin Hood, only instead of robbing the rich and helping the poor he was shooting a bunch of cops in the head.
Solonik spent eight months in Detention Center 1, the most air-tight prison in Russia, recuperating from his wounds and studying various foreign languages. When his injuries were completely healed, he once again made an unbelievable escape. He allegedly had a man on the inside this time, and the two of them used grappling hooks and ropes to exit the building in the middle of the night and make their way to a waiting BMW. To this day Solonik remains the only person to ever escape from this facility. The guy was like the fucking Harry Houdini of supermax penitentiaries.
Things were too hot in Russia, so Solonik’s next destination was Greece. In only a few short months, he set up his own criminal enterprise outside Athens that had ties to operations in locations ranging from St. Petersburg to Rome. He had his face altered by reconstructive plastic surgery, recruited a crew of over fifty gangsters to work for him, made millions of dollars, and had all the houses, cars, and women he wanted (including a tryst with Miss Russia herself).
Finally, on 1 February 1997, police found a dead body in one of Solonik’s villas. The man had been strangled to death with an extension cord, and was carrying a duffel bag full of AK-47s, wigs, forged documents, and ammunition. Fingerprints identified him as Alexander Solonik.
Of course, there are many people out there who believe that this was just the final act in the incredible criminal career of Alexander Solonik, and that the body discovered by Greek authorities was not actually the remains of Russia’s “number one superkiller”. There are many claims that he had his agents feed a set of false prints to Interpol, and this discovery was merely evidence of Solonik’s retirement, not his untimely demise. The truth, like much of Alexander Solonik’s career as a professional badass, will probably never be known.
Life and Death of Russian Killer Number One