The former commander of the Wagner PMC unit, a former convict from the penal colony 13 of the Saratov region, 42-year-old Azamat Uldarov (pardoned by Putin’s decree) told how he killed Ukrainian civilians following the orders of the Wagner founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin. An interview with the former Wagner mercenaries was published by human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin on the official channel of his organization Gulag.net on YouTube.
"With this hand I killed children following the orders. When we entered Bakhmut and Soledar, we were given the command to clean up and kill everyone. And we did. We arrived, a group of 150 people from the Wagner, and offloaded. And we went and killed everyone. There were women, men, children, pensioners. Do you understand what's on these hands now? She squeals, she is a small child - she is 5-6 years old. And I shot her in the head with a control round," said Uldarov.
He also mentioned an episode when hundreds of Ukrainians, who were hiding in the basement of a nine-story building in Bakhmut, were killed. That was just a month ago.
"When I went into the basement, there were children. And I had an order not to let anyone out. Any. I carried out the order and didn't let anyone out. We went in as a group and didn't let anyone out. There were about 40 children, a total of 300-400 people. I had no choice, I couldn't do anything any other way. There was a command to kill everyone. It was a big house, a nine-story building. The whole basement, the first or second floor was blocked and mined. I had no choice. I made a decision and gave the command to zero out everyone. I gave the command to zero everyone out, " the Wagner mercenary confessed.
He stressed that none of the mercenaries dared to disobey Prigozhin's order: "There was a concrete decision, Prigozhin's word - not to make any terrorist agreements. These were Prigogine's words. Kill everyone. Do not take anyone prisoner. Prigozhin told us via a video message. He told us not to take anyone prisoner, no one at all."
"The children suffered. I feel sorry for the children. Many children died. This has happened, yes. We don't hide it. There is blood on my hands," admitted the former Wagner mercenary.
He also praised the Ukrainian military, calling them "worthy warriors."
"They are fighting for their country, for their idea. I don't blame them. They are worthy rivals," Uldarov said.
The published video also contains the stories of Alexei Savichev, an ex-convict from the penal colony 1 of the Voronezh Region (pardoned by Vladimir Putin's decree), who was also recruited into the Wagner Group.
Osechkin said that Uldarov and Savichev are currently in Russia.
"100% of them are not under any influence of the SBU, CIA, etc. They gave detailed and consistent testimony during video and audio interviews for a week and told the founder of the Gulagu.net Vladimir Osechkin the chilling terrible details of the shooting of more than 20 Ukrainian children and teenagers, about blowing up a pit with more than 50 wounded prisoners and the so-called "500s" (those, who decided to leave the war and refused to carry out orders to kill Ukrainians), sweeps of residential buildings when everyone was killed, including children. These testimonies represent direct grounds for starting criminal prosecution against E.V. Prigozhin, D.V. Utkin and others involved in brutal murders, war crimes and crimes against humanity," writes Gulagu.net.