A retired Russian colonel was hospitalised in St. Petersburg after becoming dangerously intoxicated the Fontanka news site reports. In his possession were 5 million rubles in cash, 5 thousand dollars in cash and maps of Syria.

The colonel, Andrei Troshev, was a veteran of both the Chechen and Afghan wars and could not explain how the items came into his possession.

Troshev is also said to be a “close associate” of Dmitri Utkivn, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group fighting in Syria.

Wagner is thought to have close ties to the state, with Utkivn himself receiving medals from President Putin.