Wagner Group fighter bludgeoned with sledgehammer in horror execution vid

A shocking execution video shows a man’s life getting taken away after apparently being handed back to the notorious pro-Putin Wagner private army in a prisoner swap.

Dmitry Yakushchenko, 44, had seemingly laid down his weapons and crossed the frontline to Ukraine, before he was handed back to Russia in a prisoner swap.

An unnamed man with a sledgehammer is seen standing behind the 44-year-old, who said: “At the front, I realised this was not my war”.

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The fighter added: “Today I was in the streets of Dnipro, where I received a blow to the head and lost consciousness.

"I woke up in this room where I was told that I was going to be tried [for desertion]".

The prisoner was then hit in the head with the massive sledgehammer.

While the footage, shared on the Wagner-linked Grey Zone Telegram channel, is then blurred, Dmitry appears to be hit twice more.

The soldier, from Crimea, was initially interviewed by Ukrainians explaining how he escaped after being put on the frontline, telling them: "I crawled somewhere and lay down until the shooting stopped, drones were flying".

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"My fourth day started, I took my machine gun, some magazines, [and] a couple of grenades".

He said kept moving and after a while he “turned out to be on the Ukrainian side”, adding that he urged any Russians in a similar position to defect as well.

The Ukrainians included Dmitry in a major prisoner of war swap earlier this month which also saw Russia hand back the bodies of British aid workers Chris Parry, 28, and colleague Andrew Bagshaw, 47, according to Cheka-OGPU Telegram channel.

Reports in Russia say that he was a convicted murderer and robber who had been released from a 19 year jail sentence to fight in Putin’s war.

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He was recruited as part of the Russian scheme to free killers, rapists and other criminals to fight against Ukraine, offering them a pardon if they survive for six months.

Yakushchenko appears to have been convicted of murder in Crimea when it was still under Ukrainian control, prior to annexation by Putin in 2014.

He was then transferred to a jail in Engels in Russia, where he was released under Putin’s controversial prison scheme.

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The killing seems similar to a case exactly three months ago when convicted murderer Yevgeny Nuzhin, 55, was bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer.

Nuzhin had been handed back by the Ukrainians in an official PoW swap, only to be passed back to Wagner which then took the law in its own hands.

Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close Putin henchman, has previously threatened to kill “traitors” who leave the front line, and defended the murder of Nuzhin, as did Putin's propagandists.


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