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Wagner mercenary admits ‘tossing grenades’ at injured Ukrainian PoWsPjotr Sauer

A former Wagner mercenary has admitted to killing and torturing dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war, in one of the most detailed first-person accounts of atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Alexey Savichev, 49, a former Russian convict recruited by Wagner last September, told the Guardian in a telephone interview that he participated in summary executions of Ukrainian prisoners of war during his six months of fighting in eastern Ukraine.

“We were told not to take any prisoners, and just shoot them on the spot,” he said.

In one instance, while fighting near the eastern Ukrainian city of Soledar last autumn, Savichev said he participated in the killings of 20 Ukrainian soldiers who were surrounded. “We sprayed them with our bullets,” he said. “It is war and I do not regret a single thing I did there. If I…

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This article was written by Helen Sullivan and originally published on