2023年8月4日金曜日

RUSSIAN OFFICER ACCUSES WAGNER GROUP OF ABDUCTIONS, TORTURE OF RUSSIAN MILITARY PERSONNEL

RUSSIAN OFFICER ACCUSES WAGNER GROUP OF ABDUCTIONS, TORTURE OF RUSSIAN MILITARY PERSONNEL

@Jackie San


Russian Colonel Roman Vinivitin, who was captured by Wagner fighters in eastern Ukraine issued a video on June 8 accusing the private mercenary company of abducting Russian armed forces personnel and torturing them.


On June 4, Wagner issued a video with Vinivitin, who appears to have an injured nose, saying that he had ordered his troops to open fire at Wagner troops aboard the truck while being under influence of alcohol and apologizing to Wagner for his actions.



In a new video issued by the Ostorozhno Telegram channel on June 8, Vinivitin claimed that Wagner forcibly took military equipment and vehicles from Russian troops and kidnapped Russian soldiers, forcing them to sign contracts with the mercenary fighters.



According to Vinivitin, Wagner tortured some of the abducted Russian soldiers and one serviceman committed suicide after Wagner troops raped him.



"These actions by Wagner weakened our positions on flanks on the line in Bakhmut, while Wagner was accusing Russian armed forces of being unable to hold the positions on the flanks," Vinivitin said.


The accusations could not immediately be verified.


Talking about his own ordeal after he was "captured" by Wagner for refusing to follow their command, Vinivitin said he was kept in a basement and tortured.



"They deprived me of sleep, and three times during one night took me out to imitate my execution by shooting," Vinivitin said.



Vinivitin also accused Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin of "discrediting Russia's armed forces” and said his previous video statement issued by Wagner four days earlier "was the result of the pressure" he was put under.



The two videos are a sign of ongoing deep problems between Wagner and Russia’s Defense Ministry. Prigozhin has several times openly criticized the ministry's efforts during the war against Ukraine that has followed Russia's full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022.



Wagner troops were seen as being instrumental in Russia's assault to take Ukraine's eastern city of Bakhmut, which was the epicenter of heavy fighting in the past several months, and Prigozhin's stature as a major player in the war appeared to grow as his fighters took territory -- albeit with heavy losses -- regular forces seemed unable to grab.



The city now appears to be controlled by Russia, though Kyiv says the battle continues.



International military experts have also stressed that military units involved in the invasion have regularly lacked a joint command and very often conflicted with each other.



Prigozhin, considered to be a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the chief of the Russian armed forces' General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, of corruption, unprofessionalism, and high treason for months.


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@Jackie San

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