April 18, 2023 – Russia-Ukraine News

This screenshot shows two Russians claiming to be former commanders of Wagner. (Gulagu.net)

A Russian man who said he killed children and other civilians while serving in the private Wagner military company in Ukraine appears to have recanted, suggesting he was blackmailed into doing so.

Azamat Uldarov, a former convict, made his retraction during a video call with Russian news agency RIA-FAN. It is not known if there were any conditions to the interview.

He and another former convict, Alexey Savichev, had previously given long and rambling interviews to Russian human rights group Gulagu.net, saying they were among tens of thousands of Wagner fighters recruited into the Russian prisons to fight in Ukraine.

Speaking to Gulagu founder Vladimir Osechkin, Uldarov said he shot and killed a young girl, calling it a “management decision”.

“I was not allowed to let anyone out alive, because I had orders to kill anything that got in my way,” he said, estimating the girl was five or five years old. six years.

In his interview with RIA-FAN – which is associated with Wagner band leader Yevgeny Prigozhin – Uldarov said he was drunk when he gave the interview and alleged that Osechkin blackmailed him about his stay in jail.

Asked by RIA-FAN: “They made you say what you said in the video, didn’t they?” Uldarov replied: “Not only correct, it is [expletive] correct. I had to say it because I had no choice.

“I said everything I was told to say,” Uldarov said afterwards.

“Prigozhin is a great guy,” he added with a thumbs up. “He saved our lives.”

But Osechkin de Gulagu, who is based in France, told CNN he stands by the content of his interviews with the two men, citing Uldarov’s recantation as evidence of how quickly dissenting voices are silenced in Russia.

Osechkin also claimed that the two interviewees, Uldarov and Savichev, had been threatened with murder if they did not retract their statements to him. Savichev told Gulagu that his unit was ordered to kill any man 15 or older.

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