Wagner mercenaries unpack – “Had to kill everyone”

Two former Wagner mercenaries report on gruesome war crimes that they are said to have committed in Ukraine. The instruction to do so is said to have come from Prigozhin.

The Wagner mercenary group is known for its atrocities: executions with sledgehammers, rapes, torture. Now two former Wagner mercenaries are reporting war crimes that they claim to have committed in Ukraine – and how they were trained precisely for this purpose by the allegedly deceased Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The men, who were originally recruited as prisoners by the Wagner group, contacted the Russian portal by Russian human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin. According to the portal, it was able to verify the identities of the two men: They are Maxim Zelenov and Alexei Chernyawsky, two convicted murderers. According to their own statements, they fled eight months ago and have been hiding ever since.

You can find the Russian-language video here (Warning: the video has a warning about shocking images and violent scenes):

According to their own statements, they were previously involved in the attack on the Ukrainian city of Soledar and committed atrocities there. They report storming apartment blocks, throwing grenades and then killing the wounded. In the video, human rights activist Osechkin asks former police officer Zelenov: “Who gave the order – two grenades in a window, two grenades in a door, and then go in and [die Verwundeten] complete?”

“Yes, I have killed many people”

Zelenov replies: “Prigozhin himself,” adding: “Yes, I killed many people.” Osechkin digs deeper and asks how many older people and children were among those killed. Zelenow answers somewhat evasively: “When we got to this five-story apartment block, we definitely killed about 40 people.”

Chernyawsky has a similar story to tell. According to him, Prigozhin told him: “Be prepared that as soon as you enter the houses, you will have to kill women and children. (…) It doesn’t matter who, they all have to be killed because they are Ukrainians.” Chernyawsky used to be a police officer too.

“We are Wagner, we kill everyone”

He tells that they were already prepared for these crimes before the attack. “They said if we take towns and villages and enter houses, we will kill women and children,” he said. For this, there was also the set procedure described at the beginning. “We had to kill everyone. We are Wagner, we kill everyone,” Chernyawsky said.


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