Nearly 3,000 Kremlin-linked fearsome Wagner mercenaries have been killed in the Ukraine war, British Parliament Committee was told on Tuesday. Over 8,000 mercenaries were deployed in various parts of Ukraine following orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Wagner mercenaries, termed as Putin's private military, are infamous for their war crimes across the world.
"3,000 members of the private military company (PMC) were thought to have been killed on the battlefield," said Christo Grozev, executive director of the Bellingcat investigative website, said while giving evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.
Wagner Accused of War Crimes
Wagner mercenaries are also linked to a string of killings, rapes, and other heinous acts, and the private army is believed to carry out dirty work sometimes on the orders of the Kremlin.
Sources within the group told Bellingcat that their numbers fighting alongside the Russian forces in Ukraine are much higher than expected.
Wagner mercenaries have also fought in Syria, where they became infamous for their brutality. The brutal private army was also present in Bucha, which witnessed horrific scenes of crimes against civilians.
Nearly 200 of them were also sent to Kyiv in the early days of the war to assassinate political figures and large numbers of them were deployed near Belarus to enter Ukraine.
Wagner Mercenaries Enjoy Killings
A group member had said that mercenaries in Wagner chose to fight as they enjoy killings.
'He said that about 10 percent to 15 percent are sociopaths, people who go there just because they want to kill. They are bloodthirsty, they are not just adrenalin junkies,' Grozev told the committee.
Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as Putin's Chef and very close to the Russian President, is now in Donbas to oversee operations. But the wealthy friend of Putin does not have any military experience.
Prigozhin is the financier and organizer of Wagner Group rather than its military commander, is likely in Donbas to co-ordinate recruitment and financing of Wagner Group operations rather than to command combat operations, according to the Daily Mail.