Ukrainian secret services denounce the brutality of the Wagner Group in the east of the country

Ukrainian secret services denounce the brutality of the Wagner Group in the east of the country
Ukrainian secret services denounce the brutality of the Wagner Group in the east of the country

A Ukrainian intelligence report demonstrates how the Wagner Group fighters, despite being seen as expendable, have been effective in fighting around Bakhmut. The Russian mercenary group has been heavily involved in the intense fighting in Soledar, in the Donets region.

Dated from December, the report obtained by CNN concludes that the group led by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin represents a strong threat, despite the high number of casualties. “The death of thousands of Wagner soldiers does not matter to Russian society. Assault parties do not withdraw without a command. The unauthorized withdrawal of a team or without being injured is punishable by execution on the spot”, the document reads.

Party members who are injured are often left on the battlefield for hours. “Assault infantry are not authorized to carry the wounded off the battlefield on their own, as their main task is to continue the assault until the objective is achieved. If the assault fails, withdrawal is permitted only during the night,” the report adds.

In addition to the indifference to casualties, the Ukrainian analysis points out that the Wagner Group’s tactics are “the only ones that prove effective for poorly trained deployed troops, who make up the majority of Russian ground forces.” More: the Russian Army may even be adapting these tactics, to become more like the Wagner group. “Instead of the classic battalion tactical groups of the Russian Armed Forces, assault units are proposed”, says the report.

Wagner fighters are organized into mobile groups of about a dozen, use rocket-propelled grenades and explore the use of real-time drones, which the document calls a “key element”. They also resort to communication equipment from Motorola, a company that assured CNN that it had suspended all sales to Russia and ended operations in the country.

The high number of victims is related to the fact that, in most cases, prisoners form the first wave of an attack. More experienced and better protected fighters follow, for example with night vision equipment. Major General Isidro Pereira had previously explained to Expresso that the members of the group – which has recruited tens of thousands of prisoners – are “thrown in waves towards the front of Ukraine’s defensive positions”, functioning as “cannon fodder”.

For Ukrainian forces, drones are key to preventing them from being “overwhelmed” by grenade attacks. The report recounts an incident in December in which a drone spotted an advancing Wagner ensemble, which allowed Ukrainian defenses to eliminate it before the grenades were fired.

Secret services also indicate that when Wagner forces manage to take a position, artillery support allows them to dig trenches, but these are vulnerable to attacks in open terrain and coordination between group members and the Russian military is often non-existent. .

On January 11, Prigozhin announced the capture of the city of Soledar, something not recognized by Ukraine. Two days later, the Russian Ministry of Defense declared victory. “No unit other than Wagner was involved in Soledar’s capture,” Prigozhin assured. The leader added that the group is probably “the most experienced army in the world today” and “will continue to advance” with its own means.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Ukrainian secret services denounce brutality Wagner Group east country

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