Espreso. Global

Wagner cemetery grows seven times bigger in just two months, satellite images show 

25 January, 2023 Wednesday
23:14

As of January 24, satellite imagery shows that currently there are approximately 170 burial spots in the cemetery, which is 7 times more than it was 2 months ago

The New York Times reports that the information on the appearance of graves near the main training center of the Wagner Private Military Company in the village of Molkin was first made public in December by Vitaly Wotanovsky, an activist and a former officer of the Russian Air Force.

Wotanovsky told the NYT that he visits cemeteries to document the deaths of Russians during the war in Ukraine. The location of the cemetery could have remained unknown, but the local residents told him that the area was being used for burying Wagner soldiers.

“Our goal is to show people that war results in deaths, and it’s not somewhere far away or on TV, but it’s here next to us," he said in an interview. 

Local residents note that there may be far more soldiers dead, as some of them were cremated. The New York Times examined 21 memory walls in the chapel near the cemetery.

“Each one contains 42 compartments, suggesting that hundreds of deceased Wagner fighters are either interred or, at the very least, memorialized at the chapel. It is unclear if all of these fighters were killed in Ukraine, or elsewhere, but the footage still offers a rare look at the scale of Wagner’s losses,” the article says.

The New York Times reiterates that, according to the US data, the losses of Wagner mercenaries amount to thousands, 90% among which being former prisoners. It is also highlighted that at least 16 names and dates of birth on tombstones have appeared in online databases of people convicted of crimes in Russia. It is suggested that some of the soldiers buried here may be those who died storming Bakhmut or Soledar.

Ten days after Wotanovsky revealed the location of the cemetery, pro-Kremlin media released several videos showing Prigozhin laying flowers at one of the graves.  Also visible are rows of freshly dug graves with wreaths carrying Wagner logo.

  ▪ 50,000 Russian prisoners have been recruited by the Wagner Group to participate in the war in Ukraine, but only 10,000 remained; the rest are dead, wounded, and some escaped.

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