Wagner Group veteran predicts Russia’s defeat in Ukraine

Could Russia be about to lose the war against Ukraine? In any case, this is the opinion of a former mercenary who left the Wagner group in 2017, a private Russian paramilitary company. Alexander Zlodeev believes that Vladimir Putin’s victory in Ukraine is unlikely, reports France Inter who met him at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

The 53-year-old requested political asylum in France in early October after fleeing Russia. He participated in the conflict in the Donbass in 2015 and did not wish to explain the reasons for his departure from the Wagner group. Alexandre Zlodeev, who arrived in France on October 12 without a visa and a residence permit, thinks Russia’s prospects of victory are slim: “No: there is no [pour les Russes] no way to win this war today! Same with Wagner’s men. For us to win, we would have to multiply the number of Wagner fighters by hundreds. »

“Hounds of War”

These soldiers are considered by some to be the shadow army of Russian President Vladimir Putin, promoting Moscow’s interests by providing fighters, but also military instructors and advisers. “They have their own armaments, which they know well,” assured Alexander Zlodeev. The soldiers of the “Wagner” group have more experience, more esprit de corps, more motivation: they are dogs of war… and they know how to fight! “. It is moreover thanks to these soldiers that certain victories would have been acquired in particular in the town of Popasna.

Still, the group would be very weakened. According to information from Alexander Zlodeev, some units of the paramilitary group made up of less than 8,000 men have lost “80% of their men” and “the Russian troops are currently suffering very heavy losses”.

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Accused of numerous abuses

To replace fallen soldiers, the Wagner group tries to recruit men without any military experience. A change of strategy since the creation of this company. Before, “there were trained people who knew what they were doing. Professional soldiers, some who had fought in Chechnya, former officers from the Ministry of Defence,” said Alexander Zlodeev.

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