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Wagner mercenaries in the Ukraine war: satellite images show a growing cemetery


Russia's notorious Wagner group is apparently recording high losses: satellite images show the rapid expansion of a cemetery. Of the recruits from prisons, only a fifth are said to be in action.

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Bakinskaya, Krasdonar Krai, Russia

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the brutal Wagner mercenary group, places a bouquet of flowers on the grave of one of his fighters.

A production for the Russian state television.

Taken ten days after an activist released footage of the massive cemetery.

Here, in the village of Bakinskaya near the town of Molkin in south-western Russia, lie several hundred bodies of members of the Wagner group, which no one seems to have missed or claimed - the logo of the military company adorns the graves.

An investigation by the New York Times had compared the names on the graves with an online Russian database of convicted criminals.

The result coincides with the findings of the human rights organization »Russia behind bars«.

Accordingly, of the 50,000 recruits recruited in Russian prisons, only 10,000 are said to be with the troops.

The rest were killed, missing, or deserted.

A deserter from the Wagner group had recently sought asylum in Norway.

His statements not only confirm the high losses of the troops - in addition, Prigozhin apparently also covers up the true number of those killed - for financial reasons.


Andrei Medvedev, ex-Wagner commander who deserted

»As far as I know, it is reliably known that some prisoners were already buried on the spot in Luhansk.

They were declared missing because, from a legal point of view, the insurance should be paid out to close relatives after the death of a person.

So after death, the body should be identified and given to relatives.

If this is missing, nobody pays money or insurance premiums.

Basically a working system, because why spend money for nothing?”

According to him, Wagner mercenaries were used as cannon fodder in the fighting in Bachmut.

Here, as elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, the troops often simply left their dead lying there.

Those transferred to Russia ended up in one of the Wagner cemeteries.

Satellite images show the extent of the growing cemetery in the Krasnodar Territory.

The Wagner property is in the lower right corner of the image.

This first picture was taken in November 2021, before the Russian invasion.

At this time no graves can be seen.

A year later, in November 2022, there are already three rows of graves.

In January of this year, around 200 graves were already counted here.

A video released in September shows how Prigozhin prepares prisoners for their deaths.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group

»The bodies of all the deceased will be taken to the place indicated in your will.

All are buried in the Avenue of Heroes, in the cities that have one.

Those who do not know where they want to be buried are buried in the chapel of the Wagner group in Goryachi Klyuch.«

Another video from last December shows a funeral near St. Petersburg.

Here, too, among the fallen were prison inmates whom Prigozhin had promised freedom from imprisonment in return for their service.

Among them are men who have been convicted of murder and manslaughter - which, however, should not be known.

Prigozhin has asked the Russian parliament to ban the publication of Wagner fighters' criminal pasts or actions that bring them into disrepute.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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