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"I shot a 5-year-old in the head": Wagner convicts confess to killing children in Bakhmut and Soledar

Monday, 17 April 2023, 15:01
I shot a 5-year-old in the head: Wagner convicts confess to killing children in Bakhmut and Soledar

A Russian organisation has released videos in which Russian convicts from the Wagner Group confess to murdering Ukrainian children in Bakhmut and Soledar. According to one of the killers, unarmed 15-year-old Ukrainians "can hardly be called civilians".

Source: Gulagu.net [a Russian anti-corruption, anti-torture human rights organisation and website – ed.]

Details: The human rights activists posted the testimonies of two former Wagner Group unit commanders who were recruited to join Yevgeny Prigozhin's mercenaries from Russian penal colonies.

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They are Azamat Uldarov from Saratov Oblast, a former prisoner from Correctional Labour Colony No. 13 of the Russian Office of the Federal Penitentiary Service (pardoned by a decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated 23 August 2022), and Alexei Savichev from Voronezh Oblast, a former prisoner from Correctional Labour Colony No. 1 (pardoned by Putin's decree dated 2 September 2022).

The criminals are now in Russia.

Over the course of a week, they gave testimonies in video and audio interviews, telling Vladimir Osechkin, the founder of Gulagu.net, the details of how they shot more than 20 Ukrainian children and teenagers, blew up a pit containing more than 50 wounded prisoners and so-called "500s" (soldiers who decided to stop fighting and refused to carry out orders to kill Ukrainians), and mopped up residential buildings, killing everyone, even the children.

One of the Wagnerites admits that he "shot a 5-year-old girl in the head" when they went to Soledar and Bakhmut: "She screams – she’s a small child, you know. I shot a five- or six-year-old girl in the head. A killshot."

Quote from Uldarov: "I carried out the order with this very hand, I killed children. You understand, by order. The fact that we… We were given an order to mop up and kill everyone… We went there and we killed everyone – women, men, pensioners and children, including little ones, five-year-olds."

The terrorists said the command to mop up Bakhmut came from Prigozhin. He ordered that no one should be spared – neither elderly people nor children. All were to be killed. In Soledar, he said, it was even worse.

Uldarov also said he had "mopped up" the basement of a nine-storey building in Bakhmut where there were 300-400 civilians, 40 of whom were children. He added that he "had no choice" and that he had an order to kill everyone.

The terrorist stated that this happened in March 2023.

Quote from Savichev: "Civilians were coming outside. And the order was: everyone aged 15 and over – all of them were to be shot on sight. 20-24 people were shot, 10 of them were teenagers aged 15 and 17."

Asked how many unarmed civilians they had killed in February 2023, Savichev replied that 15-year-old Ukrainians "can hardly be called civilians".

Both former Wagner unit commanders also said that Prigozhin had personally given the criminal orders for the executions and killing.

One of the occupiers also said that once, the Wagnerites got drunk and captured 15 Kadyrovites because they did not want to fight.

Savichev also said that the Wagner fighters were threatened with death if they spoke to journalists.

Note: The information about the occupiers has been published by the Russian human rights organisation and website Gulagu.net. Thanks to this organisation, Russian military personnel and security forces who "repented" have left the territory of Russia. One of the "evacuees", former paratrooper Pavel Filatyev, later turned out to be involved in war crimes in Ukraine.

The Gulagu.net video lasts 77 minutes. None of the occupiers said they repented of their crimes in Ukraine. In addition, Uldarov is drunk throughout the filming.

Uldarov also admitted that Wagnerites do not take prisoners and it is their practice to kill Ukrainian soldiers: "Mainly with a knife. We cut their throats. We film it. When Prigozhin said sledgehammer, we’d take a sledgehammer and kill with a sledgehammer. That’s his method. He is a horrible person."

Uldarov also stated that he wanted to return to the front and continue fighting.

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