In earlier March, the intelligence office of the Armed Forces of Ukraine published dog tags of dead mercenaries of Wagner PMC (Private military company, also spelled as Vagner) who died in Ukraine. Both dog tags can be traced back to Syria.
RussiaVsWorld reveals who are those people.
Wagner was an alias of LtC (Ret.) Dmitry Utkin (b.1970), a former special operations officer with a fondness for the Nazi ideology. Wagner PMC was recruiting and had high pre-qualifications for Syria (2 to 4 thousand people), Libya (over 1 thousand people), Central African Rep. (less than 200 people), Mali, Mozambique, Sudan, Madagascar, etc.
Besides the profusion of Nazi ideology, Wagner PMC soldiers, referred to as volunteers, are convinced that they are fighting the US in places around the world. It’s a more convenient explanation than admitting that a Russian Nazi is paid to die for the likes of Bashar al-Assad. In Syria, they do not carry out full-scale military operations, but rather expand zones of influence.
In December 2021, the European Union imposed sanctions against Wagner PMC and their business partners.
Last month, the British newspapers Times and Independent reported intensive recruitment efforts by Wagner PMC for a “picnic” in Ukraine. Among their tasks was the killing of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Notably, most pre-qualifications related to citizenship, credit history, conviction history and so on have been relaxed (except the applicants couldn’t be citizens of Georgia). Their commanders have been Wagner veterans with reprimands. At the same time, the core staff of the Wagner PMC was not currently involved in the Ukrainian conflict.
RFE/RL reports that D.Utkin “Wagner” is a cruel fellow. He has a swastika tattooed on his shoulder, wears a helmet with horns, and practices a form of paganism. Wagner is a so-called meat-grinder project. The first wave were real ideologues in Ukraine in 2014.
RFE/RL interviewed Wagner volunteers from Syria. They know that they mustn’t be taken prisoner. “It is the kind of war without ceremony,” one commander said. “Everyone knows perfectly well that being captured means death by torture.” “I have specialists who remove eyes,” he added. “They take a spoon and dig around up and down until the eyeballs are just dangling there.”
“If we have to fight with America, we will win. They don’t know how to fight. As Putin said, you can invent all sorts of missiles, but you can’t invent people like we have. Our people – they know how to sacrifice themselves.”
RussiaVsWorld concludes that the mercenaries have been coming to Ukraine in waives, and the ones who lost their dog tags are more recent and perhaps more experienced. It looks like Russia will continue relying on Wagner PMC and the more experienced Nazis are starting to infest Ukraine only now. Given that Russia declares focusing on the southern Ukraine, it is expected to encounter the Wagner Nazis among occupation troops there.