Russian deserter who opens fire on police - member of Wagner Group

    WORLD  08 December 2022 - 17:13

    Police have detained a suspected Russian deserter who fired at police officers at a city near the Ukraine border.

    The man's arrest was announced on December 7 by Vasily Golubev, governor of Russia's western Rostov region, according to Newsweek.

    A day earlier, state-run media said the city of Novoshakhtinsk in Rostov had been placed under lockdown after an unidentified man dressed in camouflage opened fire on police officers with a machine gun, wounding one before fleeing.

    "The offender has been arrested. As a result of well-coordinated operational-search actions, he was found in an empty building near Novoshakhtinsk. Investigations are underway," the governor said on his Telegram channel.

    Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti, citing the country's Ministry of Internal Affairs, identified the man as a 38-year-old. The man was detained on suspicion of attacking policemen in Novoshakhtinsk, the ministry said.

    Baza, a Russian Telegram channel that regularly posts information about security issues within the country, reported that the gunman is a convict who was recruited by the mercenary outfit Wagner Group for President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine.

    According to Baza, the man, Pavel Nikolin, served time for theft and robbery in a Russian prison. From there he was recruited by the notorious mercenary unit founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a prominent Putin ally.

    On November 24, Nikolin changed his mind about participating in the war in Ukraine and fled.

    Nikon reportedly attempted to resist arrest.

    Both Baza and Russian news outlet Mash reported that the gunman may be a deserter from the Russian army.

    The man fled to the Rostov region from Ukraine, according to Mash.

    According to the FSB border department for the Rostov region, Novoshakhtinsk is a key checkpoint between the Rostov region and Luhansk, in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

    The Wagner Group has been recruiting large numbers of prisoners for Putin's war in Ukraine. The mercenary unit has been recruiting in penal colonies in far-flung regions of Russia, according to Olga Romanova, head of the prisoner advocacy group Russia Behind Bars.

    Investigative media outlet Important Stories recently found that Russian prisoners in St. Petersburg are being offered freedom and money if they participate in the war.
    Relatives of prisoners serving sentences in the city told the outlet that the Wagner Group is offering 200,000 rubles ($3,500) and an amnesty for six months of "voluntary" service in the Donbas region—if the prisoners return alive.

    In November, a Russian mob boss warned civilians of a "change of power" in the country, saying that convicts recruited by the Wagner Group will eventually wreak havoc in society.

    "Believe me, imagine who the Wagner are. All former convicts who were 20, 15,18, 19 years old, who are behind rape, for the spread of murder, and for all kinds of violence," Grisha Moskovsky said in a video appeal in November. "And now they are free and they want to eat, they want to earn money and want to feel good. And who will they go to? They will go to you, the common Russians."

    Caliber.Az

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