Russian Army Lt. Col. Roman Vinivitin – whom the mercenaries of the Wagner private military company (PMC) had previously detained after a clash between them and the military – recorded a video message in which he spoke about torture by the Wagner mercenaries and the abduction of Russian servicemen.

One Russian soldier committed suicide after being subjected to sexual violence, he claims.

“There were kidnappings of fighters who were then tortured. One soldier, for example, was kept in a cold cellar, sprayed with acid in the eyes, doused with petrol, and threatened with burning,” he said.

“In April-May, a fighter from a neighboring unit was beaten, ‘put down’ [raped], and then committed suicide.”

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According to Vinivitin, some fighters were kidnapped to turn them into slaves and forced to do hard labor. The officer claims that the Russian soldiers were forced to sign contracts with PMC Wagner, abducted, and threatened.

Vinivitin said that Wagner’s mercenaries detained him without any grounds, captured him, kept in the basement, abused him and subjected him to a mock execution at night.

Earlier, Telegram channels affiliated with the Wagner group published a video of Vinivitin, in which he claimed that his subordinates opened fire at a car full of Wagner’s mercenaries and he said that he had ordered them to do it “out of personal animosity.”

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He later claimed the video distributed by Wagner PMC had been coerced.

 “I was captured, held in the basement, and bullied,” he said. “They did not let me sleep, dragged me out three times in one night, and tried to shoot me. The video distributed by the PMCs is the result of pressure.”

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