Their story does not appear on television, just on a handful of regional media and websites in exile. It recounts the return to civilian life, in Russia, of somewhat special “heroes” – former prisoners recruited by the Wagner mercenary company and released at the end of their service in Ukraine.
Alexander Tioutin, for example. This St. Petersburg entrepreneur was arrested in 2018 while planning the murder of his niece. During the investigation, it appeared that he had already ordered the assassination of a business partner, as well as that of his wife and children aged 11 and 15, completed with an ax. Sentenced in 2021 to twenty-three years in prison, he left his colony of Karelia in July 2022 to join the ranks of Wagner. Here he is free, back in Saint Petersburg.
Stanislav Bogdanov killed a judge with fists and dumbbells. Sentenced to twenty-three years in prison, released after ten. To the independent media (in exile) Holod, he explained that he lost a leg and won a medal, giving lessons in patriotism in the process. Here is also Kirill Neglin, convicted of drug trafficking and the beating of his wife. In court, he had promised to kill her as soon as she was released from prison. Free, too.
Murderers, burglars, members of criminal groups… All have in common to have completed six months of service within the Wagner company, which has become one of the pillars of the “special operation” in Ukraine, with forces that number in tens of thousands. Among the first recruits, they are leaving the Ukraine little by little, a nest egg in their pocket (the monthly salary is 200,000 rubles, 2,660 euros).
During his rounds of recruitment in prison, Yevgueni Prigojine, Wagner’s boss, liked to repeat: “Only three people can get you out of there: Allah, God and me. I just can’t guarantee you’ll be alive. » In reality, Vladimir Putin is the only person authorized to pardon a condemned prisoner. On Friday, January 27, the Kremlin spokesman confirmed the existence of“secret oukases” of the Russian leader.
Evgueni Prigozhin is showing unusual discretion on the subject – the brand new Wagner Center, opened in Saint Petersburg, did not respond to the World on this point, nor on the total number of prisoners released. Because, for the rest, these returns from the front – four or five groups since January 5 – give rise to significant publicity, at least in the media controlled by the businessman.
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