A Russian commander describes terrible torture by the Wagner mercenaries. There is also a report from Russia about the mistreatment of its own soldiers.
Munich/Moscow - They die and die and die: We are talking about Russian soldiers on the battlefields of the Ukraine war. According to the Kyiv Independent media project, which cites figures from the Ukrainian General Staff, an estimated 24,2022 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded since the invasion on February 213, 770, which violated international law - at least.
Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine: will Russian soldiers be kidnapped and tortured?
Even in your own ranks? An alleged Russian commander has now made serious accusations against the mercenaries of the Wagner troops who attacked Ukraine together with Russia's army.
Specifically, the alleged commander of Russia's 72nd Rifle Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Roman Venevitin, claims in a video distributed on Twitter that his people were tortured and humiliated by Wagner mercenaries. Yevgeny Prigozhin's Private Army (PMC) also repeatedly kidnaps Russian soldiers, he explains.
Frightening report: A Russian commander describes mistreatment of his own soldiers by Wagner mercenaries. © Screenshot Twitter@wartranslated
"Good afternoon, my name is Roman Venevitin, I am a lieutenant colonel in the Russian army, former commander of the 72nd brigade," says the man in the video shared by various Twitter users. And whose authenticity cannot be independently verified. At least he's probably wearing a Russian uniform. It is unknown where the video was made.
Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine: Russian commander makes serious allegations
"I must say that I and my brigade had tensions with Wagner from the first days of our transfer to the Bakhmut area. It referred not only to the brazen behavior, the threats of 'annulment' or killing, but to concrete actions," he explains, listing alleged offenses committed by the mercenaries within their own ranks. For example, the Wagner mercenaries allegedly stole T-80 tanks and BMP infantry fighting vehicles from the Russian army in order to present them as supposed war trophies.
Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine: torture of Russian soldiers by starvation and acid?
Venevitin further reports: "There was a case related to the threat of physical reprisals against a company that was surrounded, which called for liquidation (shooting, ed.) was threatened because she had 'worked' differently than Wagner wanted. There were kidnappings of our fighters, who were physically and morally humiliated. For example, one (a soldier, ed.) of our Starshina battalion was kidnapped, tortured with starvation and left lying on the cold floor of a base. Acid and other chemical compounds were sprinkled into his eyes."
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Although he had lost consciousness in the meantime, "they doused him with gasoline and tried to set him on fire. The commander of the artillery battalion was also kidnapped. I will not mention his name. His car was stolen from him. He was beaten and abandoned near enemy territory," he describes. In one case, he also reports on a suspected suicide of a soldier, "because of a hopeless situation". The wounded were treated like slaves, other fighters were robbed so that they would allegedly sign Wagner contracts under pressure, he also lists.
Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine: false accusations against the Russian army?
Finally, in the video, he accuses Wagner of having partially withdrawn his soldiers, thus weakening his flank at Bakhmut. After that, however, Wagner reproached his unit for not being able to hold the flank in question. This is documented, since Prigozhin reproaches soldiers of the described 72nd Rifle Brigade in a Telegram post for fleeing from the said front.
Meanwhile, mistreatment of Russian soldiers is apparently taking place not only on the Ukraine front, but also at home. For example, in the report "Secret in Russia" of the "Frontal" magazine on ZDF, there is talk of allegedly murdered recruits in Russian barracks.
A grieving mother in Magnitogorsk: Svetlana Latiouk stands at the grave of her dead son Stanislav, who was killed in training with the Russian army. © Screenshot ZDF Mediathek
Violence within the Russian army: Mother describes harassment of her son
In one sequence, the report, researched by two Russian journalists, shows a mother from the city of Magnitogorsk. Her name: Svetlana Latiouk. Her son Stanislav: dead. Never returned from basic training in the army. This is how the woman describes it, who gives her full name despite the risk of repression. "Forgive me for giving you to the army. I think it's my fault," she says in the interview. Stanislav died on March 29, 2019 at the age of only 19, far from home in Ussuriysk on the Pacific. Mother Svetlana, for example, describes harassment of her son, and that his commanders allegedly starved him.
According to the official version, he was killed during a shooting exercise, according to the post. However, according to a photo showing the mother on her smartphone, he was actually hanged from a tree. She alleges that his commanders wanted to cover up harassment of recruits. According to the report of the ZDF magazine "Frontal", violence against its own people is the order of the day in the Russian armed forces. And, apparently, also in the relationship between the regular army and Wagner mercenaries. (pm)