The Kremlin has issued an unofficial decree asking state media not to highlight the crimes committed by individuals who have returned from the war in Ukraine, according to reports from Medusa, citing two sources close to the government.

These instructions mark a shift from previous practices, where some pro-government media outlets covered such news to attract readers and generate traffic.

A source close to the presidential administration explained that these restrictions aim to prevent Russians from viewing returning fighters as potential criminals and to reduce fears about their reintegration into society.

The source also mentioned that even before the Kremlin's recommendations “some patriotic journalists recognized the inappropriateness of such coverage.”


“The goal is to portray these returning soldiers as polite, caring, and compassionate people,” Medusa's source stressed.

As reported in early October, Russian soldiers who returned home from the war in Ukraine, the majority of whom were former Wagner mercenaries, have been linked to at least 27 murders since the beginning of this year.

Russian news outlet, "Agenstvo", reported that Wagner mercenaries are currently involved in at least 12 criminal cases that resulted in the deaths of 19 people. 

On October 3rd, a former Wagner member, Denis Stepanov, allegedly set a house on fire in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, resulting in the deaths of two women.

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Just two days earlier, on October 1st, in Lipetsk, a former private military contractor named Vladimir was accused of killing his wife's 4-year-old daughter.

In September, Igor Sofonov, a former Wagner group member, was allegedly involved in the killing of six people, attempting to cover up their crime by setting fire to two houses.

In addition to these cases, the report also highlights acts of violence in September, including a former Wagner mercenary named Oleg in the Nizhny Novgorod region who is suspected of burning his sister alive with gasoline.


These incidents are not isolated to Wagner mercenaries, as on April 20 in the Nizhny Novgorod region, a 44-year-old named Alexander Mamaev, who had volunteered in Ukraine, fatally stabbed his wife in front of their children.

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