The Russian Telegram channel Grey Zone, which is close to the Wagner Group Private Military Company, has published a new video of the execution with a sledgehammer of a Wagner fighter who surrendered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces but, according to the person in the video, was later abducted from the city of Dnipro.
Source: BBC News Russian; 24 TV Channel; Grey Zone
Details: The Telegram channel reports that the video allegedly shows Dmytro Yakushchenko, who was born in Crimea and has been convicted several times on the peninsula. “He received his penultimate sentence of 19 years for robbery and murder in Crimea. Because of the chance he was given for release and atonement, he joined the Wagner Group, where he escaped to the enemy’s side four days later,” the statement reads.
If the story is about this person, his confession after being captured in November last year was published by the 24 TV Channel
The new video shows a man whose head is taped to a stone. The Telegram channel comments that this person “got the same disease that makes you faint in Ukrainian cities, first in Kyiv, and now in Dnipro, and then wake up in the basement at your last court hearing”.
The man in the video claims that he was in the city of Dnipro, where he was hit in the head and lost consciousness. “I woke up in this room, where I was told that I was going to be tried,” the man says.
The video shows how, immediately afterwards, the person standing behind the doomed man hits the place where his head is located with a sledgehammer. At this point, most of the frame is blurred, so it is impossible to understand what exactly is happening. But the man immediately falls backward, and the one with the sledgehammer continues to finish him off.
On 13 November 2022, it became known that Russian citizen Yevgeny Nuzhin had been brutally executed without trial by tying his head to concrete with duct tape and hitting it with a sledgehammer. Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, hinted that it was the work of his mercenaries. Perhaps, with the help of such a video, the executions in Russia are trying to discourage Russian conscripts from surrendering.
On 24 November, Yevgeny Prigozhin proposed to give a sledgehammer with fake bloodstains to the European Parliament in response to the news that his Private Military Company might be recognised as a terrorist organisation. The representative of the Wagner PMC has already given the sledgehammer to propaganda bloggers.
On 9 February 2023, Yevgeny Prigozhin announced that the recruitment of convicts to the recognised criminal private military company has now completely stopped. He never specified what caused such a decision.