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Russian Fighters A ‘Kidnapping and Torturing Each Other’



A lieutenant-colonel in the Russian military who says he was held hostage by the Wagner Group now claims the notorious mercenaries regularly abduct Russian troops and torture them.

Roman Vinivitin, the former commander of Russia’s 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade, was paraded before cameras earlier this week in an interrogation video released by Wagner, in which he was accused of drunkenly firing at mercenaries.

Now, in a video released by independent Russian news outlets Thursday, Vinivitin is calling out Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin personally.

“Yevgeny Viktorovich, you are openly discrediting the Russian Armed Forces,” he says in the 11-minute video.

Vinivitin goes on to claim the mercenary group was essentially at war with the regular army, even as both sides were meant to be fighting Ukrainians.

“In response to the question of whether I have ill will towards Wagner, I will put it this way… Tensions with the Wagnerites for me and my brigade began from the first day of our transfer to the [Bakhmut] area. This was due not only to them provoking our fighters into conflicts with their audacious behavior and constant threats to eliminate, kill, but also with specific actions,” he said.


“There were times when soldiers were kidnapped and then tortured. One soldier, for example, was kept in a cold basement, splashed with acid and chemicals in his eyes, from which he lost his sight for a while, they doused him with gasoline, brought a lighter, and tried to set him on fire,” Vinivitin said.

“A soldier of one unit was beaten, released, and he committed suicide out of hopelessness,” according to Vinivitin. “There were cases when fighters were kidnapped and [Wagner] tried to exchange them for ammunition,” he said, adding that others were used as “slaves” and forced to warehouse the dead and wounded. In other cases, he said, soldiers were kidnapped and “forced to sign contracts with Wagner, thereby weakening the flanks of Bakhmut and my defense.”

Another soldier, he said, was abducted, beaten, and left tied up while Wagnerites stole his vehicle.

Vinivitin said he himself was taken captive by the group after Wagner fighters blocked his path while he was checking on his units.

“As a combat officer, I was not going to tolerate this,” he said. “As a result, Wagner employees were disarmed and sent in a known direction… They were sent to fuck off!”

“Subsequently, I was captured, kept in a basement, kicked around in such a way that not even a fucking embittered Russian soldier would kick around a captured soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I was beaten, not allowed to sleep, they dragged me out of the basement three times a night and tried to shoot me,” he said.

“You and I both know that you have a video confirming my torture and abuse,” he said, addressing the mercenary group directly.


“Yevgeny Prigozhin, to the merriment of Ukrainians, was the first to air dirty laundry and make a political show out of men’s brawls on the frontline, so I have every right to say how I see the situation,” he said, accusing Wagner of “breeding anarchy” on the frontline.

Prigozhin has denied that Vinivitin was held hostage, saying instead that he was “detained for investigation.” The Wagner founder did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast on the latest allegations.

Source: The Daily Beast

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