The murder of Ryazan prisoner Yevgeny Nuzhin is not the first extrajudicial killing of people who were once recruited into the ranks of the Wagner PMC. According to Olga Romanova, founder of the Rus’ Sedentary human rights foundation, at least 40 members of a private military company were killed.
Romanova claims that PMCs execute people for such “misdemeanors” at the front as desertion, attempted surrender, looting, alcohol or drug abuse, and “sexual relations.” There are already about 40 confirmed cases of military lynching, she says.
Romanova spoke more about extrajudicial executions at Wagner PMC on the air of Present Time.
– You said that you know about 40 cases of extrajudicial executions by Wagner PMC fighters. What are these cases?
– These are rather cases when relatives are informed that their husband, brother, son was liquidated while trying to surrender, while trying to desert. That is, it means: do not look for him and, most importantly, do not expect money. We can talk about it.
After that, people really don’t show up anymore. We had one case when a man was resurrected. It just turned out that they were extorting money allegedly for information about the body. And in all other cases, people never got in touch again: neither the prisoners themselves, nor the “Chevekashniks”.
– That is, the relatives of the dead are not even given the bodies?
– In several cases, for example, it was about foreign citizens living in Belarus. And relatives simply could not come to Russia, pick up the body – there was no talk of this. They did not insist, and the body was not issued. And in all other cases, they simply stopped communicating with people.
– Do I understand correctly that only recruited prisoners are executed?
– Yes, we are only talking about this, since we do not deal with other topics – we deal with prisoners, and therefore we know about these cases. In fact, I am very surprised by the surprise, since human rights activists have been following the Wagner PMC for a very long time and know about several cases of executions by Wagner PMC fighters. Their names are known, videos are known when PMCs executed prisoners in Syria in the same way on camera and published. The Investigative Committee refused to open a criminal case, said: “What you have on the tape is completely incomprehensible,” and did not engage in any pre-investigation check or anything else.
It’s a continuation of the line of impunity
The court also refused when they filed a lawsuit against the refusal to initiate a criminal case. And let’s still not forget about the murder of three journalists in the Central African Republic, since, most likely, this is also the work of the so-called Wagner PMC fighters.
And everything that is happening now with Russian citizens and foreign citizens fighting on the side of Russia in Ukraine, all this is a continuation of this very line of impunity. Not such impunity when you stole a chicken and get impunity, but such murders with particular cruelty on camera, extrajudicial reprisals. And nothing else happens.
– Probably, there is some rather big difference, for example, from executions in Syria. There, after all, captured citizens of another country were executed. And here they execute, and on camera, citizens of Russia.
– Yes. But of these 40 people, at least half were also foreign citizens. Yes, these are also prisoners, who also fought in the Wagner PMC, also on the side of Russia and also shot or killed in one way or another. Here, it seems to me, there is not much difference. These are human lives. Especially, for example, citizens of Belarus – well, yes, citizens of Belarus. This is how Putin loves the citizens of Belarus together with Lukashenka. After all, it is practically his only ally.
And Russian citizens are also subjected to extrajudicial executions. We hear all the time from relatives, including from warring convicts, that Wagner PMC has a so-called container in its arsenal. Guilty prisoners are sent to this container, where they are beaten, tortured, in general, they show some kind of military-patriotic educational work. And in some cases, these beatings end in death.
– Where is it?
– This container is located almost everywhere where there are quite large Wagner PMC units. The container appeared probably two months ago. And the “Wagnerites” themselves proudly say that the guilty are sent for re-education in a container.
– I read in “Important Stories” the story of one prisoner whom Mr. Prigozhin tried to recruit. Prigozhin does not hide the fact that if there are attempts to desert, these people will be shot on the spot. That is, he does not hide the fact that there will be extrajudicial executions?
– Yes, but you and I saw this famous film from one Izhevsk colony. Prigozhin never said anything else – he always says exactly that: execution on the spot. Extrajudicial execution, I repeat once again, for an attempt to desert, for an attempt to surrender, for the use of drugs and alcohol and for sexual relations – it is not specified who with whom.
Prigozhin always says exactly this: execution on the spot
Why am I talking about this moment, that it is not specified who is with whom, since Prigogine also said, in his words, about some “rooster division.” These are prisoners from the separated – they are also “lowered”, they are also “roosters”. The whole category is not entirely composed of people of homosexual orientation – there are other people there. But first of all, there are gay people, yes, or men who have sex with men. Therefore, I make this important clarification: Prigozhin does not specify who has sexual relations with whom. [имеются в виду].
– How do they close cases in colonies if the prisoner died, was killed?
In the colonies, the personal files of prisoners are simply seized
“I don’t know how cases are closed in the colonies when they are closed for war. Judging by what we know, the “Wagnerites” simply take their personal files with them, and it’s as if this person was not in custody at all. Although I don’t know how this can be done, because there is a court verdict. But personal files are simply withdrawn. I think that here everything goes according to the Russian folk saying: “Maxim died, and to hell with him.”