Wagner Group, the unfiltered story of the former commander of Putin’s army: the “enormous losses of the army”, the (never admitted) recourse to mercenaries | Exclusively for Italy

They call it “the Brigade of Darkness”, it is Putin’s troop of mercenaries, for many one of his secret weapons, perhaps the most dangerous. He is famous for the ferocity of his operations, in Syria as in Africa and Ukraine, where he has fought and is fighting alongside (but it would be better to say in the shadow) of the armies and official deployments. The Wagner Group is this, but also much more. For the first time it is told from the inside, thanks to the testimony of a former officer, Marat Gabidullin. “I, commander of Wagner” (288 pages, 18.90 euros, ISBN 979128002 29571, published by Libreria Pienogiorno) is being released today at the same time internationally. But he also risked never going out. In 2020, a small Siberian publisher announced the publication of the first non-anonymous testimony from within the group of mercenaries, but the following day the author received threats such as to force him to cancel the project. Now this testimony comes to light. Courtesy of the publisher and a preview for Italy, ilfattoquotidiano.it publishes below an extract of the document.


It was only a short time ago that I really understood the reasons which prompted me to write a book about mercenaries Russians. My first impulse came when I started reading again after a long period of intellectual stagnation. I read it all in one breath The tales of Sevastopol from Lev Tolstoy and my hands moved towards the keyboard as animated with a life of their own. I was tormented by an irrepressible need to make my parents understand compatriots a very simple idea, but which our public morality rejects, or even judges sacrilegious because it is incompatible with the vision of the historical development peculiar to Russia: we are like everyone else. And our so-called very singular, spiritual and romantic identity is none other than a mitopowered by those who draw profit.

This book is not so much the account of military adventures of a mercenary and his companions, but rather an attempt to illustrate how Russia uses the mercenarism. We are told that soldiers of fortune are a typical phenomenon ofWest and that mercenarism is a product of the capitalist hydra, but we too have used it to promote our country’s interests abroad. Our politicians they maintain a modest silence about the existence of Russian private military companies and they reject as a whole any allusion to the use of such non-governmental formations. For their part, the propagandists heavily indoctrinate the Russians by inculcating in them the idea of ​​a Russian foreign policy and evading any direct answers to questions regarding the use of mercenaries.

Who is comfortable with this state of affairs? First of all, to those who live at the expense of the people, trying to convince that same people of their usefulness. The Russian generals in Syriafor example, they have successfully deployed a strategy that they could have baptized “there aren’t any”, creating the illusion of inexpensive victories in terms of vite umane in the ranks of the army. But the real numbers of Russian citizens who died in the war against it Islamic state they do not correspond to official data. The number of Russian mercenaries dead in Syria is far greater than that of army soldiers. And yet, even the participation of the cmp (Private military company), again to feed the myth of a non-bloody war. The Russian military of all ranks present in Syria bask in glory and allow themselves to be flattered by the ignorant people who have truly risked their lives to defeat the jihadists of the Islamic State.

Also political leaders they take advantage of what they pompously call a “phenomenon incompatible with our moral values.” The rescue of the regime Bashar al-Assad allowed Russia to create a reputation for being the protector of criminals of every species in every part of the world. The African continent remains virgin ground for Russian diplomacy and the schemers politicians. Power is in the hands of unscrupulous leaders who have been able to appreciate the help provided by Mosca a Damascus and they have shown themselves ready to let Russia get its hands on the natural resources of their gold-rich countries, diamonds and oil. Russia’s recourse to mercenaries is an established, irrefutable fact. This book simply traces the story of one of them. Each of us chooses what ideals to fight for. I one day decided that if I had to go back to fight, I would have done it just to end the war. I’m not the only one who thinks so, but we are a minority. Others are ready to serve Dio e Mammona; after all, they are mercenaries.

On February 24, the president of the Russian Federation launched a “special operation” against what he calls “the Nazi regime ofUkraine“. But within a few days the “special operation” turned out to be a full-scale war: city destroyed, civilians killed. In a conflict, discussing which side is responsible for civilian deaths makes no sense. It is always theattacker who is wrong. Whoever started the war is the only one who has to answer for the consequences of the exchange of blows. A bullet of mortar or a missile that land on a house, wherever they come from, were only shot because a war is going on. Judging by the sophisticated weapons and the ammunition with high precision and great power, the Russia began preparing for war a long time ago by investing in this project billions of dollarswhen older people are forced to live by humiliating pensions and medical care for children is funded by TV fundraisers!

And thearmy? Despite the total domination of the airspace and the superiority of the weapons modern, suffered enormous losses. The Ministry of Defence he doesn’t lie when he declares the death toll, he just doesn’t say everything. A soldier whose body is found and identified is considered dead. The remains unidentified or abandoned in enemy territory are classified under the heading “destiny unknown“. The Rosgvardia National Guard (1) it is not part of the army and the Ministry of Defense is not obliged to account for the losses in its ranks; the same goes for the armed formations of the republics popular. When it was necessary to fight in Syria, the army sent mercenaries to do the work on the ground, and today it is reaping the rewards of that artificial victory. Yesterday the Russian army fought without much conviction against him State Islamic, the ideological plague of the 21st century. Today he sacrifices his fighters with considerable zeal in a war against one nation sister.

Russian mercenaries are also written in a separate column of thelist of victims, covered by secrecy. And in Ukraine they are very numerous, in all ramifications of the so-called special operation. The formations of the republics of Donbassrecognized only by the Russia and who in eight years have pursued only a defensive strategy, would not be able to conduct offensive operations without the support of another force, that of the mercenaries. Until recently, there were at least two detachments of mercenaries around Kiev, specifically assigned to this operation. In addition, three detachments of Wagner participate in the fighting a Mariupol e Kharkiv. Mercenaries are paid in dollars. The new trend within the invading forces is to exchange patriotism with the dollars. Ideology has nothing to do with it, what matters is to line your pockets.

And the Russia? As usual, the majority approve of the party and government line. The brains of my parents compatriotswhich propaganda has turned into dadaccepts without batting an eye the idea of ​​”denazification“And” demilitarization “of Ukraine. Full of money, well fed and wearing designer clothes westernersthe owners of villas in Europa and in United States have weakened the spirit of the Russians to such an extent that my compatriots are ready to feel proud of their displays of strength, forgetting their existences miserable. Every 9 May the Russians exhibit photographs of their loved ones who have fallen in the Great Patriotic Warbut they don’t dare to deal with the “dangerousCeceno (2). The appropriation of the victory of the fathers is no longer sufficient to satisfy their misguided minds or the lust for greatness. This time the culprit of all evils is the “Nazi” regime of Ukraine and its own Western supporters and Americans, who have always been hostile to us.

The Russian people triumph and write the letter “Z” on the walls and on the vehicles. And the victory in this war, whose name must not be pronounced, is already assured in advance by the law that sanctions any form of dissidence o di storytelling which deviates from the official version in the field of information accessible to most Russians. Television, radio and newspapers are gagged and not everyone knows how to get around the blocks on the internet, nor does they feel the need to do it: the ideal situation to turn any defeat into a victory. The economic difficulties linked to international isolation do not scare the majority of Russians, who have never lived in abundance or have not had time to get used to it. Friendship with developing countries, very expensive for our budget, is the asymmetric cooperation with China seem acceptable solutions to resist the “diktat” of the West, where by “diktat” we mean the ability to negotiate and to impose high standards in order to remain competitive.

With China or the Central African Republic it is simpler: in the first case, he bows his head, because it is Beijing that dictates the law. In the second, we are the ones who have the knife on the side of the handle: the leaders are totally dependent on mercenaries. It is difficult to predict what will become of my country, and of me. Am I afraid for my life and my freedom? I’m not a prominent figure like Aleksej Naval’nyj (3) o Boris Nemcov (4). I do not make appeals to get on barricades and I do not lead any opposition movement. All I do is speak openly, and with knowledge of the facts. Will they accuse me of being an enemy of the people? Now this expression it is used to brand anyone who dares to say aloud what some prefer to pass over in silence and others do not want to acknowledge. Well, I’m ready to live with this stigmawhich only makes sense to those who stick labels. Time will tell.

(1) Military force within the Russian government, created on April 6, 2016. It was entrusted to the leadership of Vladimir Putin’s former personal bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov.
(2) Ramzan Kadyrov, the authoritative president of the Chechen Republic in the North Caucasus.
(3) Vladimir Putin’s main opponent and tireless critic of his regime, who has been in prison for over a year.
(4) Famous opponent assassinated in 2015 under the Kremlin walls.