Prisoners recruited by Russia Wagner Group to fighting in Ukraine They seem increasingly aware that they have been tricked, and that no one counted on bringing them back alive.
One guest Recruited by the group in November, he deserted his team in Ukraine’s Luhansk region and fled to Russia via a bus and ride-sharing app, where he says he is now hiding out of fear of reprisals.
“We thought that we would be equal to the hired fighters, that we would not be different, but in fact they are just assault teams from the inmates, and that’s the meat.” [in the meat grinder]. Nikolai Troshkin told the independent outlet Media Zona Wednesday.
Troshkin said he had two years to serve in a Siberian penal colony when the founder of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin She was visited in the fall and “colourfully” told the prisoners about their chance of a pardon.
He said he bought Prigozhin’s promises, and was soon removed, along with approximately 200 other prisoners, from his colony.
“We signed a paper about who should be notified in the event of our death, and [stating] I agree to participate in the military operation and perform the tasks of the Ministry of Defense, despite the fact that I may die.
Troshkin said that after he was sent to the occupied Luhansk region for training, he learned of show executions in a children’s camp.
“Two men who were standing at a checkpoint stole something and were immediately released. One of them knelt down and asked for forgiveness, but he died with dignity, saying: Do not repeat my mistakes,” the coach said, adding that “they shoot my mistakes there.”
The way Troshkin tells it, Wagner’s leaders also sent released prisoners on suicide missions knowing full well that they would not come back alive.
“It’s just deep nonsense,” he said, “to describe it rudely.” They took thousands [the penal colonies]Tell them it’s all right and you’ll go home, and 90 percent die.”
Troshkin told the outlet that he fled from the group after their training camp came under fire from Ukrainian forces. He said that after ditching his military gear and donning civilian clothes, he took a bus from Donetsk to Moscow and eventually used a ride-sharing service to return to Siberia.
He said he initially planned to go back to prison—”there’s no point in messing with Wagner”—but then learned he wasn’t even wanted by the authorities.
“What’s the point of going back to prison? I’m already free, I’m pardoned. But because of Wagner, I’ll have to hide and change my phone.”
Troshkin’s novel comes as a former commander of Wagner begins to testify before Norwegian war crimes investigators as he seeks political asylum in that country.
And Andrei Medvedev, 26, spent four months with the group before deserting and running for it across the Russian border with Norway last month.
He repeated Troshkin’s allegations and said that Wagner fighters were “treated like cattle” being sent to be slaughtered.
“There was a time when they brought in two prisoners who refused to fight and shot them in front of the others for refusing to follow orders,” Medvedev said. Tell Moscow Times. “There have been many such incidents.”
While ex-combatants express disappointment with the group, the Russian Ministry of Defense has also reportedly ignored Wagner when it comes to repatriating war dead.
They are not friends of the Ministry of Defense and do not help them [Wagner] with coffins. a source in the Russian funeral industry told the independent outlets firstka Wednesday.
Another source said that in several cases the families of dead Wagner fighters were given empty coffins for burial.