Support Us

Wagner Group fighter who was killed on camera had volunteered to be exchanged

Wednesday, 16 November 2022, 09:45
Wagner Group fighter who was killed on camera had volunteered to be exchanged

Yevgeny Nuzhin, the former convict and fighter with the Wagner Group paramilitary organisation whose killing was filmed and posted online, had been sent to Russia by Ukraine in a POW exchange.  

Source: Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to the Head of the President's Office of Ukraine, on the Russian TV Channel Dozhd (Rain)

Details: Podoliak said Nuzhin went through the official prisoner exchange procedure; that is, he voluntarily signed a form consenting to the exchange in accordance with all legal procedures.

Quote from Podoliak: "We have a very simple approach. A captured serviceman can sign a voluntary waiver of the exchange procedure. And we will have it recorded."

Details: Podoliak has denied rumours that Nuzhin was exchanged for 20 Ukrainian prisoners of war. He said the swap took place according to the package-for-package rule. Podoliak said Ukraine got 47 of its servicemen back, while Russia got back "some number" of its own.


According to Podoliak, Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin could have been using Nuzhin for his own propaganda purposes in arranging the fighter’s show execution.


  • On 11 November, the President's Office of Ukraine reported that 45 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had been brought back to Ukraine as the result of an exchange. The Russian side did not comment on the swap.
  • On 12 November, a video of the brutal murder of Yevgeny Nuzhin appeared online. Its content was referred to as "the punishment of a traitor". The Telegram channel Grey Zone, which is associated with the Wagner Group, posted the video. Before his death, Nuzhin said that he "came to" in a basement, where he was told that he would be "tried".
  • Yevgeny Nuzhin was serving his sentence in Ryazan Oblast in the Russian Federation when he was recruited by the Wagner Group to participate in the war against Ukraine. He surrendered to Ukrainian forces in September. In an interview, Nuzhin stated that he had planned from the beginning to surrender and fight on the side of Ukraine, where relatives of his supposedly lived.
  • Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder and head of the Wagner Group, called the video "wonderful director's work" and put the blame for Nuzhin's death on the American secret services. He claimed that the man executed on camera could have been recruited by the CIA a long time ago.
  • The Kremlin has refused to comment on the video. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that it was "none of their business".

Journalists fight on their own frontline. Support Ukrainska Pravda or become our patron!