Chilling video shows Russian Wagner commanders admit killing children as young as five in execution campaign in Ukraine

18 April 2023, 14:32

The Wagner mercenaries said they had carried out atrocities
The Wagner mercenaries said they had carried out atrocities. Picture: Social media/Alamy/Getty

By Will Taylor

Two Russians who claim they were commanders in the notorious Wagner Group have admitted killing children as young as five in Ukraine.

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Azamat Uldarov and Alexey Savichev spoke to Russian human rights group and detailed how they committed atrocities.

Uldarov said he killed a girl aged five or six while Savichev said they were ordered to kill men aged 15 and older, and those who disobeyed orders would be killed by the group.

In subtitles provided by Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, Uldarov says: "She is screaming, she's a little kid, you know. Five, maybe six years old."

While smoking a cigarette, he tells Russian dissident Vladimir Osechkin over a video call: "I took a kill shot.

"I wasn't supposed to let anyone out. Not one. The order was to do a sweep, to liquidate everyone who was in my way."

Uldarov said he killed a girl as young as five or six
Uldarov said he killed a girl as young as five or six. Picture: Screengrab

Asked who gave the order, he says they started "from the top", then details nicknames of his superiors, and claims Prigozhin said "not to let anyone out".

"And we followed that order."

Asked about children, Uldarov says: "I wasn’t supposed to let anyone out that day. Not one."

Read more: US reporter charged with spying against Russia appears in court in first public sighting for weeks

He told Mr Osechkin that he wanted Russian and other nations to "know the truth".

"I don't want war and bloodshed. You see I'm holding a cigarette in this hand. I followed orders with this hand and killed children," he says.

Savichev said they were told to execute any man aged 15 or above.

He said: "It doesn't matter whether there is a civilian there or not. The house needs to be swept. I didn't give a f**k who was inside.

Prigozhin said his brutal mercenary group does not execute children
Prigozhin said his brutal mercenary group does not execute children. Picture: Alamy

"Whether a hut or a house, the point was to make sure that there wasn't a single living person left inside. You can condemn me for this. I will not object. It's your right. But I wanted to live, too."

Wagner is among the most notorious factions fighting in Ukraine. It was most recently accused of beheading Ukrainian prisoners of war, the latest in a string of crimes.

They are led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman whose catering for the Russian leader gave him the nickname "Putin's chef".

Read more: Stand off in the sky: RAF and German fighter jets intercept Russian spy plane near Baltic countries

They are accused of numerous atrocities, both in Ukraine and some African countries they have been deployed to.

They are said to have summarily executed their own men, launched them into bloody human waves attacks against Ukrainian defenders, especially in the frontline city of Bakhmut, and recruited convicts to deploy into battle.

Prigozhin said he watched sections of the footage.

"I can say the following: if at least one of these accusations against me is confirmed, I am ready to be held accountable according to any laws," he said.

He added on Telegram: "These people (spreading the lies) are our enemies, and we will deal with them in a special way."

Earlier, Prigozhin said on the messaging app: "Regarding the execution of children, of course, no one ever shoots civilians or children, absolutely no one needs this. We came there to save them from the regime they were under."

That repeated the Kremlin's lie that attempts to position the bloody invasion as a liberation mission, repeatedly and falsely framing the Kyiv government as Nazis.

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