Wagner says takes Russian soldier captive after army unit attack

Russian peacekeepers started withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh: Kremlin
Source: Video Screenshot

Russian private military group Wagner has said it has taken a soldier from Moscow’s regular army captive while accusing his unit of trying to attack its mercenaries in occupied Ukraine.

Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has for months decried the state of the Russian army and accused Moscow’s top generals of causing excess deaths during the Kremlin’s offensive in Ukraine.

But this was the first time the mercenary group said it had grabbed a soldier from the official armed forces.

Late Sunday, Prigozhin posted a Wagner “report” dated May 17 that alleged Russian army soldiers had been “mining roads in the rear zone of Wagner units” in Moscow-occupied eastern Ukraine.

The report said Wagner fighters were carrying out demining operations when they came under “open artillery fire coming from positions of the defence ministry”.

Prigozhin then posted a video on Telegram showing a man that he alleged was a captured Russian soldier.

“I shot at a Wagner car,” the man said, adding he did so “because of a personal dislike.”

The man said he was a Russian lieutenant colonel from the 72nd brigade of the armed forces.

In the video, a man who was not shown on camera was interrogating the alleged soldier, who appeared to have a bruised nose.

The video did not specify how long the alleged soldier would be held captive nor the terms for his release.

Wagner has accused the regular Russian army of not providing mercenaries with adequate ammunition.

The group spearheaded Moscow’s advance on the east Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and claimed to have captured the hotspot late last month.

Prigozhin said Wagner had mostly pulled out of Bakhmut and transferred control to the Russian army.

He has also accused the Russian defence ministry of being unable to properly defend Russia’s border Belgorod region, recently intensely shelled by Ukraine.

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

Daily Newsletter