Sledgehammer execution of Russian mercenary who defected to Ukraine proven in video By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A truck displaying the symbols “Z” in assist of the Russian armed forces concerned in a army battle in Ukraine is parked exterior PMC Wagner Centre, which is a mission applied by the businessman and founding father of the Wagner non-public milit

By Man Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) -Russia’s Yevgeny Prigozhin, an in depth ally of President Vladimir Putin, stated on Sunday {that a} former mercenary who was filmed being executed by a sledgehammer blow to the pinnacle after altering sides within the Ukraine warfare was a traitor.

Prigozhin, a Russian businessman who based the Wagner non-public army group, was responding to an unverified video distributed on Telegram that confirmed a person recognized as a former Wagner mercenary being executed after admitting that he had modified sides in September to “struggle towards the Russians”.

Within the footage, the person, who gave his title as Yevgenny Nuzhin, 55, was proven together with his head taped to a brick wall. He stated he was kidnapped in Kyiv on Oct. 11 and got here round in a cellar.

“I acquired hit over the pinnacle and misplaced consciousness and got here round on this cellar,” he stated. “They instructed me I used to be to be tried.”

As he stated these phrases, an unidentified man loitering in fight clothes behind Nuzhin, smashed a sledgehammer into the facet of his head and neck.

Nuzhin collapsed onto the ground and the unidentified man delivered one other blow to his head.

Reuters was unable to right away confirm the video which appeared on the Gray Zone Telegram channel, one in every of a number of that Russian media stated was linked to the Wagner group. The video was posted beneath the title “The hammer of revenge”.

Requested to touch upon the execution video, Prigozhin stated in remarks launched by his spokeswoman that the video must be known as “A canine receives a canine’s dying”.

“Nuzhin betrayed his individuals, betrayed his comrades, betrayed consciously,” stated Prigozhin, who has been sanctioned by america and European Union for his function in Wagner. “Nuzhin was a traitor.”

Prigozhin solely confirmed in September that he based the Wagner Group in 2014, the primary public acknowledgement of a hyperlink he has beforehand denied and sued journalists for reporting.

Wagner group, initially staffed by veterans of the Russian armed forces, has fought in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic, Mali and Ukraine, amongst different nations.

Prigozhin was proven in a video launched in September recruiting convicts in a Russian jail for the warfare, warning them that the battle was robust and setting down guidelines about their conduct.

In additional remarks concerning the execution video on Sunday, Prigozhin additionally issued a warning to others in Russian society whom he described as traitors.

“Don’t forget, there aren’t solely traitors who throw away their automated weapons and go over to the enemy,” he stated.

“Some traitors are holed up in workplaces, not fascinated with their very own individuals. A few of them use their very own enterprise jets to fly to these nations that appear impartial to us thus far. They fly away in order to not take part in at present’s issues. They’re traitors too.”

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