Report Describes How Wagner Publicly Executes Former Inmates Turned Into Troops in Ukraine – According to a report by Polygon Media and independent news media outlet Mozhem Obyasnit, captured Russian soldiers are being executed for deserting or disobeying orders.
(Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel Here. 19FortyFive publishes new videos every day.)
Specifically, the report describes how former Russian prisoners, who were deployed to the front lines in Ukraine by the private mercenary group Wagner, said that deserters are being executed in public.
One former inmate by the name of Yevgeny Novikov, who was recruited by Wagner Group while in prison, said that those who disobey are “eliminated” publicly.
The report also cites audio recordings of interrogations of former prisoners who later surrendered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The audio clips reportedly came from the “We Can Explain” Telegram channel and have since been verified by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.
The accounts of several men convicted of serious crimes, including theft and murder, reveal the brutality of Wagner officers in Ukraine.
Wagner Using “Insane” Soldiers
Alexander Drozdov, who was serving time in prison for attempted murder, also revealed how the majority of the prisoners deployed to serve with Wagner soldiers were “completely insane.”
The soldiers, according to Drozdov, did not behave as typical soldiers on the battlefield.
The men are “very different from ordinary mercenaries” and are “just f*cked up and bulldoze their way through” the former soldier and Wagner mercenary explained.
The claims support previous reports about how former inmate soldiers deployed by Wagner would often be sent to the frontlines as more experienced soldiers stayed further behind, watching through cameras on unmanned aerial vehicles and sending men to their deaths.
Former inmates also claim in the report that many of the soldiers were fighting in Bakhmut, which correlates with an update from the British Ministry of Defence in December that revealed how Wagner was playing an essential role in the Donetsk Oblast city.
“Individual fighters are likely issued a smartphone or tablet which shows the individual’s designated axis of advanced and assault objective superimposed on commercial satellite imagery. At platoon level and above, commanders likely remain in cover and give orders over radios, informed by video feeds from small uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs),” the British defense intelligence update revealed.
Ukraine Said This Would Happen
In September, Ukrainian intelligence suggested that Wagner would eventually “eliminate all the prisoner-mercenaries in one way or another” once their time on the battlefield is complete.
However, the head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claims to have freed the first group of former inmates in what could be an effort to encourage more former prisoners to sign up and fight.
In a video published by RIA Novosti last Thursday, Prigozhin proudly announced that the prisoners have completed their contracts, had their criminal records expunged, and are now free to go.
“Don’t drink too much, don’t use drugs, don’t rape any broads,” the Wagner chief says. “They fulfilled their contracts with honor, with dignity, one of the first…the first…they completed their work in a way that few people could.”
While some soldiers may ultimately be set free, Wagner’s well-documented brutality seems to support the claims from several former prisoners that soldiers are being sent to their deaths in Ukraine, with deserters used as examples and killed.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.