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VIDEO. “All this was not very legal”: a former mercenary of the Russian group Wagner testifies in a documentary

 VIDEO.  "All this was not very legal": a former mercenary of the Russian group Wagner testifies in a documentary

These mercenaries of the Wagner group operate in Ukraine as in Mali. As Vladimir Putin crystallizes attention and stokes fears after acknowledging the independence of the pro-Russian separatist territories of Donbass, Ukraine, the documentary Wagner, Putin’s shadow armybroadcast on France 5, reveals the underside of this secret Russian military organization. For nearly two years and despite intimidation, journalists Alexandra Jousset and Ksenia Bolchakova investigated this phantom army financed by billionaire Evgueni Prigojine, a close friend of Vladimir Putin.

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It was in 2014 in Ukraine, in the Donbass region, that the first Wagner fighters appeared, a army created by Dimitri Utkin, a former member of the Russian special forces and a great admirer of Hitler. From Ukraine to Malipassing through Syria and Mozambique, these mercenaries work with impunity, becoming the armed arms of the geopolitics of Moscow, which denies any link with this paramilitary group.

About 10,000 agents since 2014

Thanks to this documentary, the mercenaries of this obscure organization now have a face. That of Marat Gabidullin, 56, who was part of Wagner for several years and who testifies openly in the film. “A longtime friend of mine told me about it. He told me ‘there is a company that will interest you. You have military training. There they need people like you'”, he says. Marat Gabidullin joins the private company. “Why ask questions? I could see very clearly that it was not the army. I was well aware that all this was not very legal, it was obvious.”

One of the first missions of the Russian mercenary took place in Syria in 2015. The country, which has always been supported by Russia, has been mired in a civil war since 2011 and must also face up toand to the Islamic State. “We were told, ‘there is a great guy over there, President Bashar-Al-Assad, and this good guy, all alone at the head of his heroic army, is trying to fight world imperialism, and this good guy, he needs help’.”

The organization has seen around 10,000 agents pass through its ranks since 2014. Mercenaries with criminal records so heavy that it is impossible for them to join the regular army. Rape, murder, torture, looting… Nothing stops these henchmen guilty of the worst abuses. Calling on such a private group allows Moscow to defend its interests in the world without bearing the consequences.

The documentary Wagner, Putin’s shadow army directed by Alexandra Jousset and Ksenia Bolchakova is to see in replay on France.tv.

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