Mercenaries hired from Central Africa Republic to fight in Ukraine by Wagner ‘complain they have been abandoned and left to starve with no ammo’

  • Rebel fighters from the CAR were hired by the Wagner Group to fight in Ukraine
  • But they say they have been abandoned and are forced to steal from civilians
  • Soldiers have not been paid or given food or ammunition, they say 

Mercenaries hired by the Wagner Group to fight for Russia in Ukraine say they have been abandoned in the Donbas with no food or ammunition.

Around 100 fighters from the Central African Republic were recruited by the shadowy military company after quitting their country’s Union for Peace (UPC) rebel group.

They were trained and sent to the front lines in March but they now say they have lost contact with their military bosses and are surviving by stealing from Ukrainian civilians, sources have revealed.

Around 50 of their fellow troops have also ‘mysteriously disappeared’ and Russia is refusing to say where they are.

: A view of a ruined building after Ukrainian army retaken control from the Russian forces in Lyman

Two ex-fighters from the Central African Republic told the Daily Beast: ‘Some of our colleagues have called us to inform us that the Russian soldiers who took them to eastern Ukraine deployed them to a particular town and left them to fight on their own. 

‘As we speak, they haven’t been paid for months and they can’t even feed themselves.’ 

The rebels traveled to Moscow for training at a Wagner military camp in February at the time war was breaking out.

They were deployed by mid-March but were then left on their own by their commanders with no one looking for them. 

The soldiers, who have been referred to as ‘Black Russians’, are now fearing for their lives.

A BM-21 ‘Grad’ multiple rocket launcher fires towards Russian positions on the front line near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on November 27, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine

A Ukrainian tank is seen as it fires a missile amid trees on the Bakhmut frontline

A ‘Z’ war truck is seen parked outside PMC Wagner Centre headquarters in St Petersburg

One fellow countryman said: ‘They’ve told me that they don’t even have ammunition to fight. Some of them have not been seen by their colleagues for months.’

The CAR rebels had been part of a coalition of fighters created in 2020 to interfere with a general election.

But last December, they started to surrender to the government after they were offered incentives to abandon their aims.

At the same time, the Wagner Group started offering military conscripts to the mercenaries who opted to travel to Moscow rather than face the instability at home. 

But instead, they say they have not been paid at all for most of the year despite carrying out Vladimir Putin’s dirty work.

The Wagner Group has been linked to a string of killings, rapes and war crimes around the world and is known as Putin’s private army which carries out his bidding at an arm’s length from the state. 

Last week, the head of Russian private army Wagner trolled the West showing a bloodied sledgehammer he wants to present to the European Parliament

They have been accused of many of the atrocities linked to the Kremlin not only in Ukraine but throughout Africa. 

As many as 40 rebel fighters may have deserted Wagner already due to the brutal conditions.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, who controls the Wagner Group, last week trolled the West showing a bloodied sledgehammer he wants to present to the European Parliament.

The sick stunt relates to an episode in which a Wagner fighter from Russia was bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer after defecting to Ukraine, before being exchanged back allegedly at his request.

Yevgeny Nuzhin, 55, was passed by Russian officials to Wagner operatives and a video appeared showing him being sledgehammered to death with a strike to the head.

The extrajudicial killing was purportedly punishment for the convicted murderer-turned-mercenary’s ‘treachery’ in switching sides to Ukraine.

At the time billionaire Prigozhin sought to justify the killing of the ‘traitor’, saying it was a ‘dog’s death’ for a ‘dog’. 

Vladimir Putin’s crony Yevgeny Prigozhin, pictured, was responding to a vote to declare Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

Prigozhin is believed to have recruited as many as 35,000 prison inmates including one ‘maniac’ killer convicted of cannibalism, ‘hundreds of murderers’, and rapists to fight for Putin in Ukraine.

He personally leads a recruitment drive in prisons across Russia.

As many as 40 have been illegally executed for ‘desertion or treason’ by Wagner private army, said a leading human rights authority.

It comes as Russia continues to suffer devastating losses in Putin’s costly war, with more than 160 colonels among 1,500 colonels killed in the war, it was claimed today.

A Telegram channel operated by Colonel Anatoly ‘Stirlitz’ Stefan of the Ukrainian armed forces has collected reports of Russian military deaths and compiled a list of some of Putin’s most prominent losses. 

Stirlitz claims the warmongering Russian president has lost ten generals and a total of 152 colonels and lieutenant colonels since his tanks trundled into Ukrainian territory on February 24.

Wiped out are 204 majors, 294 captains, 496 senior lieutenants, 258 lieutenants and 86 other officers whose rank could not be verified.  

This comes as new figures released today by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed 87,900 Russian servicemen have been killed in the conflict, while a Pentagon estimate earlier this month said 100,000-plus Russian military personnel had been killed or wounded.

Ukrainian tankmen are seen on the Bakhmut frontline, Donetsk, Ukraine on November 27, 2022

The grave of Russian Lieutenant Colonel Grigory Tarasenko who was killed in Ukraine is pictured

The unusually high number of losses of high-ranking Russian military officials in Ukraine comes due to an apparent refusal to delegate responsibility to junior commanders.

Many generals and colonels are unwilling to decentralise command – symptomatic of the Russian regime as a whole – and therefore have been more vulnerable to attack as they marshal their troops themselves near the frontlines. 

Russian Telegram channel General SVR today claimed the total ‘irretrievable military and operational losses of manpower’ in Putin’s regular forces stands at 90,138.

The death toll of operators from private military companies like Wagner Group, which has recruited tens of thousands of prisoners freed to fight from Russian jails, was put at 26,917.

The Russian national guard meanwhile has lost 5,521 men, according to the outlet.

Russia does not disclose the scale of its losses nor produce updated estimates.

As such, the extent of the Russian losses in Ukraine is hidden from the public, but critics accuse Putin of using the lower ranks as ‘cannon fodder’ against better-armed Ukrainian forces who are well-supplied thanks to Western military aid shipments.

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