About 3,000 mercenaries fighting on behalf of Russia have been killed in Ukraine since Feb. 24 when Kremlin despot Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of the neighboring country, a group of experts told the British legislature’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

According to British media reports, an estimated 8,000 mercenaries alone from the Wagner private military contractor (PMC) were deployed by Russia to Ukraine.

Citing sources inside the PMC, Christo Grozev, executive director of online sleuth Bellingcat, said on April 19 that 3,000 members of the Wagner group are believed to have been killed in combat so far.

Two hundred members were “sent to Kyiv before” the war in a failed mission to “scout out and assassinate” political figures, National News reported.


Grozev added that some mercenaries were present in Bucha, a northwestern suburb of Kyiv where more than 400 civilians have been found killed execution style, most with gunshot wounds as well as with signs of torture and sexual violence.

Wagner is run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a confidante of Putin. He is currently under U.S. sanctions and wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on suspicion of “conspiracy to defraud.”

Bellingcat has written about the Wagner PMC extensively and one investigation can be found here.

The group’s mercenaries were also deployed to eastern Ukraine when Putin ordered an invasion of the two easternmost regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014 after forcibly seizing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula the same year.

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