Putins mercenaries post new video of murder with a sledgehammer

Russian Wagner soldiers appear to attack their commander

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A Wagner Group mercenary was allegedly killed with a sledgehammer after he refused to continue to fight for Russia against Ukraine. A video showing the horrific attack is circulating the Telegram channel GrayZone, which is close to PMC Wagner, a private military company working for Vladimir Putin and recruiting soldiers to fight Ukraine.

Posting the video, the group wrote that the mercenary “fell ill with the same disease, from which you lose consciousness in the cities of Ukraine, then in Kiev, now in the Dnieper, and then you wake up in the basement at your last court session”.

Earlier, the same group had posted a video with the execution of Wagner PMC fighter Yevgeny Nuzhin.

The footage, which Express.co.uk has opted not to use, shows a man who identifies himself as Dmitry Yakushchenko.

He appears with his head duct-taped to a rock.

He introduces himself and confirms he went to prison only to be recruited by the Wagner group to fight against Ukraine.

The man then claims he soon realised “that this was not my war”.

He adds: “I woke up in this room where I was told that I would be judged.”

Soon after his statement, a person standing behind him hits his head with a sledgehammer.

The man then falls back and the person with the sledgehammer continues to hit him on the ground.

It is not the first time the group circulates videos of its executions.

Last November, the group published a video showing a man identified as a former Wagner mercenary being killed with a blow to the head after admitting he had switched sides in September to “fight against the Russians”.

The video showed a man who says he is 55 and gives his name as Yevgenny Nuzhin, with his head taped to a brick wall.

He claims to have been abducted in Kyiv on October 11, adding: “I got hit over the head and lost consciousness and came around in this cellar. They told me I was to be tried.”

Immediately afterwards, a man in combat clothes delivers a crushing blow to the side of his head and neck, at which point Nuzhin collapses, at which point the man hits him again.

The horrifying clip, posted on the same Telegram channel, was entitled: “The hammer of revenge”.

Earlier this week the owner of the Russian Wagner Group private military contractor actively involved in the fighting in Ukraine said that the war could drag on for years.

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Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a video interview released late Friday that it could take 18 months to two years for Russia to fully secure control of Donbas. He added that the war could go on for three years if Moscow decides to capture broader territories east of the Dnieper River.

The statement from Prigozhin, a millionaire who has close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin and was dubbed “Putin’s chef” for his lucrative Kremlin catering contracts, marked a recognition of the difficulties that the Kremlin has faced in the campaign, which it initially expected to wrap up within weeks when Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Russia suffered a series of humiliating setbacks in the fall when the Ukrainian military launched successful counteroffensives to reclaim broad swaths of territory in the east and the south.

On Sunday, Prigozhin said that Wagner fighters have taken over the Krasna Hora settlement north of Bakhmut, a strategic city at the epicentre of the fighting in recent months.

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