A former Wagner Group mercenary, Andrei Medvedev revealed that the brutality he saw in Ukraine finally drove him to defect.
“Wagner’s fighters were often sent into battle with little guidance, and the company’s treatment of reluctant recruits was merciless,” Andrei Medvedev said from Oslo, where he is seeking asylum after crossing the country’s Arctic border from Russia, according to the exclusive interview granted to CNN and broadcast by ERT.
“They rounded up those who did not want to fight and shot them in front of the newcomers“, he claims.
The 26-year-old, who says that previously served in the Russian army, joined the Wagner group as a volunteer. He spent less than 10 days in Ukraine after signing his contract in July 2022, serving alongside Bakhmut.
It is reminded that the mercenary group has emerged as a key player in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Medvedev said he did not want to comment on what he had done while fighting in Ukraine but revealed: “There were no real tactics at all. We were just getting orders for the enemy’s position… There were no specific orders as to how we should behave. We were just planning how we would do it, step by step. Who would open fire, what kind of shifts would we have… How this would turn out was our problem».
He knew by the sixth day of his deployment to Ukraine that he didn’t want to return for another tour after seeing the troops turned into ‘cannon fodder’: ‘There were more bodies and more and more people coming. In the end I had a lot of people under my command,” he said. “I couldn’t count how many. It was in constant circulation. Dead bodies, more prisoners, more dead bodies, more prisoners.’
He revealed that advocacy groups said the prisoners who enlisted had told their families they would receive compensation of five million rubles ($71,000) if they died in the war. Abut actually “no one wanted to pay that money”, he said while claiming that many Russians who died fighting in Ukraine were “simply declared missing”.
Medvedev was at times emotional in the interview, saying he saw courage on both sides of the war while adding that he now wants to share his story to help bring Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin to justice.
“Sooner or later the propaganda in Russia will stop working, the people will rise up and all our leaders …will be for sale and a new leader will emergehe pointed out.
Asked if he feared the fate of another Wagner defector, Yevgeny Nuzin, who was murdered on live broadcast with a sledgehammer, Medvedev said Nuzin’s death had encouraged him to leave.
“I would just say it made me bolder, more determined to go“, he said.
Source: News Beast
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