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Sep 2 24 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ Wounded Wagner fighters have reportedly been thrown out of hospitals with their treatments unfinished, their payments for medical care have been terminated, and payments and benefits to their families have also stopped. "A total scam!", says one outraged Wagnerite. ⬇️ Image
2/ 'We Can Explain' (MO) reports that the Russian government appears to have abandoned its previous commitments to Wagner members following Yevgeny Prigozhin's death. Putin's spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, said two days after Prigozhin died that Wagner now had no state funding.
3/ Earlier, during Prigozhin's mutiny, Putin had said publicly that the Russian state had paid over a billion dollars to Wagner. It appears that this flow of money has abruptly been cut off, likely with dire consequences for thousands of Wagner fighters and their families.
4/ MO reports that the hospitals which were treating Wagner fighters have all ceased doing so. Wagner's head of medical services has claimed that the last wounded patient was transferred for treatment, and all insurance payments, compensation, salaries and bonuses were paid.
5/ However, Wagner members and their families say in chat rooms that in reality, many have been left without medical care and documentation. The Wagner call centre seems to have shut down abruptly following Prigozhin's death and is no longer taking inquiries.
6/ MO interviewed the friend of a Wagner fighter who suffered shrapnel wounds and was treated in a hospital in Anapa in the Krasnodar region. Many wounded Wagner members have been treated there; the hospital was visited by Prigozhin in January 2023. Image
7/ The Wagnerite was due to have surgery but it was cancelled after being postponed for a long time. His friend says: "In July, they were all told that Wagner [medical bills] had been paid until the end of July and all the wounded must leave the hospital immediately."
8/ "Wherever he wants to be treated, let him be treated there. And they did not give any money for treatment."

Wives now find themselves facing the need to care at home, without any assistance or medical expertise, for wounded men who need hospital treatment.
9/ "There are no certificates and medical resources, we are waiting at home, and I have no idea how to treat him," says one. Another complains: "We can only treat them ourselves ... The company does not help in any way with rehabilitation or treatment."
10/ Not surprisingly, online Wagner chat rooms have been flooded with outraged commentary on the situation from fighters and their relatives. MO has compiled some of the responses: Image
11/ 🔺 "Half of my insides are gone, a leg was broken by a shell. I received only combat pay and a bonus, and silence on the wound."

🔺 "We got [sick pay] for June, not yet for July. And we don't know when or if it will come."
12/🔺 "It took three hours to call, you get through five or ten times, but as soon as you get to the queue, the line goes dead."

🔺 "A total scam!"
13/ 🔺 "We have never seen any money from the company. We have been in hospital since May (amputation), now we have been discharged, we are recovering on our own."

🔺 "We have never received any money for the injury. Bravo."
14/ 🔺 "I also didn't receive anything for the wound. My contract ended on the 3rd of May. Hopefully things will stabilise and no fighter will be forgotten."

This optimism seems to be misplaced, however, considering what's happening with Wagner pay and benefits.
15/ According to Tochka, Wagnerites who participated in the war are being denied the status of combat veterans, documentation that would allow them to access state benefits, and are not being issued awards or the promised pardons in the case of mobilised convicts.
16/ This denial is in violation of existing laws. All Russian participants in the war were granted the status of 'combat veterans' under a law passed in April 2023, and in August the government decreed that all volunteers, including Wagner members, would receive a a certificate.
17/ Such certificates guarantee a range of benefits. Veterans and family members of the deceased are entitled to monthly payments, free travel and medicines, housing and utilities and property tax benefits.
18/ The speaker of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, stated earlier this year that "everyone who today risks their lives defending our country ... should have an equal status .... regardless of whether this soldier is an officer, a volunteer, everyone who participates". Image
19/ Perhaps inevitably, this commitment seems to have been abandoned since Prigozhin's death. Veterans' certificates and awards to Wagner members, recognising them as veterans, are not being issued due to unfulfilled bureaucratic procedures at the Russian Ministry of Defence.
20/ Wagner's personnel managers have announced that they are in a situation of 'force majeure'. They have suspended the issuance of certificates of participation in the war, citing "more important and prioritised tasks of the employees".
21/ This has had a major impact on the families, as it prevents them accessing social support measures, including discounts on kindergarten fees, meals at educational institutions, and legal privileges.
22/ Relatives of deceased ex-convicts are also complaining that documents of pardon are not being issued. This prevents their children being enrolled in universities to study law, as the children of convicts are barred from enrolling and working in this field.
23/ It's probable that the Russian government is trying to get rid of the heavy financial burdens of supporting the Wagnerites. But in doing so, it risks creating a large group of militarily experienced men who are embittered against it.
24/ While treating Wagner's fighters like Trump University students might help the Russian government to save money in the short term, it may create further trouble for the regime in the future. /end


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More from @ChrisO_wiki

Sep 1
1/ Hundreds of Russian soldiers from Chelyabinsk were reportedly locked into boxcars to prevent them complaining to visiting officials about the theft of their supplies and non-payment of their salaries. ⬇️ Image
2/ According to Tatyana Zolotavina, the wife of one of the men, 380 soldiers from Chelyabinsk have been sent to fight in Ukraine. She says in a video that three days before they were sent, the men were hidden from an inspection by regional authorities by locking them in boxcars.
3/ Zolotavina says this was done to prevent them complaining. The men had been sent 500 packs of 'humanitarian aid' (essential supplies and equipment), none of which they received. Instead, they had to buy what they needed themselves.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 31
1/ Men over 50, many with serious illnesses, are being forced to serve in the 'Donetsk People's Republic' armed forces despite this being illegal and in defiance of legal rulings and orders. "We turned out to be third-class people without rights", says one relative. ⬇️ Image
2/ ASTRA reports on the stories of a number of mobilised DNR residents who have been made to serve continuously, in some cases for 18 months, without any breaks. Under local and Russian law, men over 50 are not supposed to serve in the army. This has systematically been ignored.
3/ Thousands of relatives have travelled thousands of kilometers between Donetsk, Rostov, where the headquarters of the Russian Southern Military District is located, and Moscow, to petition military officials and politicians – so far without much success. Image
Read 46 tweets
Aug 31
1/ Two Russian servicemen based in the Astrakhan region have been convicted for stealing working drogue parachutes and replacing them with relabelled worn-out ones. It's another illustration of the prevalence of logistics corruption in the Russian military. ⬇️ Image
2/ The servicemen, Nikolai Yemtsev and Igor Ostapenko, stole eight drogue parachutes from a logistics depot in Astrakhan between March and June 2022. Such parachutes are usually employed to help with aircraft braking.
3/ They were found by a court to have sold the parachutes to an acquaintance for $2,000-$2,100 each, therefore earning up to about $16,500. The Russian MOD put the lost value at 4 million rubles ($41,000), which suggests they sold them for considerably below unit price.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 31
1/ Yevgeny Prigozhin's death may have cleared the way for Russia to send a 20,000-strong army corps to Africa. Other Russian mercenary groups also plan to go there. One mercenary leader promises that "the era of bare-assed Zulus with a Kalashnikov assault rifle is over". ⬇️ Image
2/ Recent reports indicate that Prigozhin's death and the Russian Ministry of Defence's efforts to squeeze out Wagner have likely unleashed a wave of competition between Russian armed organisations to take over the remains of Wagner's African empire.
3/ So far, the organisations reportedly looking at Africa include the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia, which reports directly to Putin), the GRU, and the Convoy and Redut private military companies, which are both closely linked to the MOD.
Read 15 tweets
Aug 31
1/ Wagner Group fighters face hard times due to being expelled from Ukraine and squeezed out of Africa and the Middle East. A leaked audio message advises them to find alternative work in the face of 'competition' from the Russian MOD and National Guard. ⬇️
2/ Following Yevgeny Prigozhin's mutiny, thousands of Wagner fighters were sent on a paid 'vacation' in Belarus; many subsequently returned to Russia. Now their 'vacations' are coming to an end, leaving many Wagner fighters at a loose end.
3/ In the recording, which the Russian media outlet Important Stories has authenticated, a Wagner representative says:

"Our employees often ask what to do next. Their holidays are coming to an end. They have to work. Guys, understand that the situation is extremely difficult.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 30
1/ Yevgeny Prigozhin's funeral was reportedly kept secret even from the Russian authorities, who appear to have been fooled by a dummy cortege. Now the entire cemetery is locked down by heavily armed police, who have installed metal detectors at its gates. ⬇️
2/ Commentators have noted that an elaborate "special funeral operation" was held for Prigozhin, in which journalists and the police were directed towards St Petersburg's Serafimovskoye cemetery. Meanwhile, Prigozhin was actually buried at the Porokhovskoye cemetery. Image
3/ According to the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, the coffin carried by a hearse to Serafimovskoe was empty. Meanwhile, his remains were taken to Porokhovskoye. Although it's formally closed, it can still be used for subburials in family plots. His father is buried there. Image
Read 7 tweets

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