Wagner Group mercenaries reportedly hunting foreign volunteer fighters in Ukraine

Wagner Group mercenaries reportedly hunting foreign volunteer fighters in Ukraine. Image: Getmilitaryphotos/Shutterstock.com

THE Russian Defence Ministry published data on the number of foreign volunteer fighters in Ukraine on Tuesday, July 12 and rumours have been circulating on social media that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his Wagner Group mercenaries to pick them off.

According to Russian military officials, a total of 4902 volunteer fighters arrived from Europe to Ukraine – most of them from Poland, Romania and the UK – arrived in the country to help with war efforts, however, rumours suggest they are being killed by Wagner Group mercenaries specifically ordered to eliminate them.

The Russian MoD said that around 2100 volunteer fighters had been killed in Ukraine.

Their data shows that 1318 people arrived from across the ocean – most notably Canada, the United States and Colombia – to help fight with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 395 of them have apparently been killed.

The Ministry of Defence also noted that they are “carefully monitoring the arrival of foreigners in Ukraine and know of the militants by name.”

The MoD said that 39-year-old Brazilian model Talita do Valle, who served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a sniper, died near Kharkiv. She had joined the Ukrainian army three weeks earlier. Another Brazilian, former soldier Douglas Burigo, died with her.

“Among the representatives of Georgia, 50 “soldiers of fortune” were destroyed, Great Britain lost another 23 mercenaries killed in Ukraine. Also, in three weeks, 21 Romanian and 15 Canadian militants were killed,” said Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defence Ministry.

He also said that, in accordance with international law, mercenaries are not considered combatants and, if captured, they face a trial and a maximum sentence.

 

Although the Defence Ministry did not reveal whether or not Wagner Group mercenaries had been readied specifically for this task, some people on social media have proposed the notion that they have been assigned to take out the volunteers at the behest of top Russian officials.

Pro-Israel Twitter account, Terror Alarm, noted: “Russia claims to know the exact number of foreign volunteer fighters in Ukraine and has commissioned its own ‘PMC Wagner’ mercenaries with a bounty to hunt the volunteers and summarily execute them, particularly the ones from NATO countries.”

On Sunday, July 3, exiled Russian activist Vladimir Osechkin accused Russia’s FSB and Wagner Group mercenaries of recruiting prisoners in Russia for the war in Ukraine.

According to Osechkin, members of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation and Wagner Group – a network of mercenaries and a de facto private army of Russian President Vladimir Putin – have been trying to recruit prisoners in Russia to fight in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

Osechkin said at the time: “I bring to your attention that in the colony IK-7 Yablonevka of the Federal Penitentiary Service for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, FSB officers are currently recruiting volunteers to Donbas among prisoners.”

He added: “Motivational work is carried out with them, they are promised freedom for participation in military operations and in operations to clear mines and restore buildings on the territory of Donbas.

“At the same time, they are openly told that they will not have any documents or a token, and their bodies will not be given to their relatives. They promise money to those who survive. They were practically not given time to think and consult with their relatives.

“On July 3, the first ones who passed the selection will be taken out of prison,” he said.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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