The victim, Evgueni Nuzhin, was recruited from a Russian prison to fight on the front lines and surrendered to kyiv troops in September, only to be returned in a prisoner exchange.
The Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels broadcast a video on Saturday night of the hammering execution of a certain Evgueni Nuzhin, a former convict recruited as a mercenary in the prison where he was serving a sentence by the so-called Wagner Private Military Company (ChVK in its acronym in Russian) to be sent to the Ukraine to fight. Nuzhin, according to information published on social networks, surrendered to the Ukrainian troops practically as soon as he arrived at the front, but was returned to Russia in a prisoner exchange.
This summer, during a visit by the director and owner of the Wagner mercenary group, the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, to Prison Colony No. 3, located in the Ryazan region near Moscow, Nuzhin, who was serving a 25-year sentence there for murder , decided to accept the proposal to go to fight in Ukraine. Prigozhin told the prisoners that those who accepted his proposal would be pardoned after six months of service. “After six months, you go home, you receive pardon,” he told them, but he warned that those who desert or surrender to the enemy “will be executed.”
Nuzhin, after surrendering to the kyiv troops on September 4, expressed in a television interview the desire to fight in the Ukrainian ranks against the Russian Army. In the released footage he now tells that it was the form of confrontation he chose against President Vladimir Putin. The truth is that the kyiv forces did not admit him among their own and he ended up finding his bones again in Russia.
The allegedly executed mercenary also relates that, while on a street in kyiv, he received a blow to the head and lost consciousness. “When I woke up I was in this basement where they say they are going to execute me,” he said with his head taped to a kind of stone block. For her part, the Russian journalist, Anastasia Kashevárova, wrote that Nuzhin must surely have been returned to the Russian Army on November 11 in an exchange of 45 soldiers for each side.
The video of the alleged execution was first broadcast by the Telegram channel Gray Zone, linked to the Wagner group, and, right at the end of the filming, after his last words, someone hits his head several times with a huge hammer. Then the inscription in Russian “liquidated” appears. Gray Zone explains that “the traitor received the traditional Wagnerian punishment.” From kyiv there have been no comments yet.
Prigozhin assured that everything was a “staging”. In his words, «I prefer to see history as in the theater. As for the deck, in this show it is clear that this man did not find happiness in Ukraine. He met unkind but fair people. It seems to me that this film is called ‘To the dogs, dog death’. Excellent work of direction, everything is seen in a sigh. I hope that no animals were harmed during the filming.”
Through its business conglomerate, Concord, Prigozhin offers services ranging from conducting military operations to espionage, interference in political processes in foreign countries, misleading propaganda and disinformation. This controversial oligarch has gained influence in Putin’s entourage after the enormous difficulties faced by the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, which should have lasted no more than a week and has now lasted almost nine months. He makes sure that his mercenaries are the ones who fight best on the front lines.
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