War correspondent Alexander Kots published a video of Dmitry Yakushchenko, a fighter of private military company Wagner, who was allegedly executed, and PMC Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin together. The video appears on his Telegram channel.
The video shows the entrepreneur introducing Yakushchenko and then saying that he was captured as he was "performing a combat mission and got lost."
Prigozhin stressed that the fighter was acting in captivity "like a normal man."
"There was a team, and if you are taken prisoner, look both ways, remember where they take you, where you are going, what equipment you see and where," Prigozhin said that adding the military man, having returned from captivity, brought a lot of necessary information.
Yakushchenko said that Ukrainian soldiers were showing him tough treatment in captivity.
"They would beat me up, I would say torture me, force me to say what they wanted to hear from me,” he said, adding that the Ukrainian military threatened to stab him and upload the video on the Internet so that his relatives could see it.
The fighter also said that he would continue to serve in the ranks of the PMC.
The video allegedly showing Yakushchenko's execution was posted on February 13. When asked to comment on the execution video, Prigozhin urged journalists to give a calmer assessment to what they see.
Some time later, Prigozhin's press service shared a video with Yakushchenko being alive and well. In the video, he said that the PMC gives the right to fighters to correct their mistakes. He also apologised for his interviews during the Ukrainian captivity.
According to the Kommersant, Yakushchenko was repeatedly tried for robbery and brutal murder. In 2015, he was sentenced to 19 years in a strict regime colony. It was also said that PMC Wagner recruited Yakushchenko in the autumn of 2022.
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