Nearly 200 criminal cases have been opened against the Wagnerites pardoned by Putin

In 2023, more than 190 criminal cases were opened against former prisoners who were pardoned for participation in combat operations in Ukraine as part of Wagner PMC after their return to Russia. Such data provides in its study Verstka.

Journalists have calculated that most often former prisoners who served in PMCs are tried under articles on theft (83 cases), traffic violations (27 cases), as well as under articles on drugs (23 cases) and murder or attempted murder (20 cases). In addition, the mercenaries have been prosecuted under articles on serious injury to health, carjacking, assault or insulting a representative of authority, fraud, kidnapping and rape.

The publication notes that in most cases pardoned prisoners are given fines, forced labor or suspended sentences. Real terms of imprisonment are imposed only when people died as a result of the crime. “Wurtka” also specifies that in some criminal cases there is not one, but several criminal articles at once. The publication reports that ten mercenaries are tried in two or three criminal cases at once, and one in six.

Verstka notes that the real number of criminal cases against former prisoners pardoned after participating in the war in Ukraine may be higher. The Russian authorities try to hide the fact of the defendants’ participation in hostilities.

On December 21, former Wagner PMC fighter Aleksandr Tyutin was detained in St. Petersburg on charges of attempting to organize a contract killing. In 2021, the court had already sentenced him to 23 years in prison for the murder of four people and an attempt to organize the murder of his niece. Tyutin fought in Ukraine and received a medal for bravery from Wagner PMC.

In late November, it became known about a resident of Saratov, convicted for 20 years for murder, who returned from the war in Ukraine and was again in pre-trial detention under the article on the deliberate infliction of serious harm to health with the use of weapons.

Since the start of the war with Ukraine, Russia has regularly released murderers, rapists and those convicted of other serious crimes. The families of those killed and injured have protested, but to no avail.

By November, according to journalists’ calculations, Vladimir Putin had pardoned at least 17 people previously convicted of murder. All of them participated in the war in Ukraine and have returned from the front to freedom. Some have already committed new crimes.

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