A former member of the Wagner mercenary group, recruited from a Russian prison, is now facing murder charges in the Far Eastern region of Primorye Krai. The unidentified man, who had confessed to the killing of a 32-year-old woman, is alleged to have left her body in a burning car near Anuchino village on October 5.
Primorye Krai, Russia – October 10, 2023: A former member of the Wagner mercenary group, recruited from a Russian prison, is facing murder charges in a recent and alarming case. The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, has been accused of killing a 32-year-old woman shortly after returning to his native Primorye Krai from his involvement in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to authorities from the Investigative Committee, the accused ex-mercenary has confessed to the murder, which involved leaving the victim’s body in a vehicle that was subsequently set on fire. This horrifying incident occurred near the village of Anuchino on October 5.
Reports from local media outlets indicate that the individual in question was recruited by the Wagner group in December of the previous year while he was serving a prison sentence of 10 years and 10 months for crimes including murder, theft, and robbery. The Wagner group, known for its involvement in various conflicts, including the Ukraine conflict, has a history of recruiting individuals with criminal backgrounds.
Upon completing his mandatory service in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the ex-convict returned to his hometown in Primorye Krai in July of this year. He reportedly returned with three medals, raising concerns about the group’s recruitment practices and the potential risks associated with employing individuals with criminal histories in conflict zones.
This case is not isolated, as there have been other instances of former Wagner mercenaries, recruited from prisons across Russia, being accused of serious crimes after their return from duty in Ukraine. According to a recent report from the Agentstvo Telegram channel, as of October 4, there have been 27 reported fatalities resulting from incidents involving former military personnel who returned home from the Ukraine conflict, with 20 separate incidents documented.
The report from Agentstvo specifically highlights that 12 of these deadly incidents, involving 19 victims, are attributed to former Wagner mercenaries. The surge in crimes committed by ex-mercenaries and other former military personnel returning from Ukraine has raised concerns and questions about their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Russian courts have been criticized for often handing down mitigated sentences to such individuals, citing their “patriotism” and “contributions” to Russia’s actions in Ukraine as justifications for leniency.
It is noteworthy that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the late leader of the Wagner group, announced in June that approximately 32,000 former inmates, recruited by the organization from penitentiaries, had returned home after being granted clemency as part of their remuneration for their involvement in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.