War in Ukraine: “I know where the orders are coming from”, ex-Wagner officer to testify at International Criminal Court

The 60-year-old, who is already in the Netherlands, spoke on “Eenwandak”. He said he worked as an army man for 25 years. He started out in the official Russian army, before joining the Wagner group. He has worked specifically in Ukraine since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.I supported the so-called separatists there and saw a well-thought-out campaign“.

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I witnessed atrocities against civilians“, he explained.”I know where the orders are coming from“These atrocities, for example, related to the smuggling of children to Belarus. Other crimes involved prisoners of war. These were allegedly mistreated and executed, according to the former official.

Since then he “Lost hope in the Russian caseLast year he faced a military tribunal in Russia for refusing to execute Ukrainians.

Earlier, he submitted a written statement to the Hague. In it, he explains that the orders came either from the Ministry of Defense in Moscow or from Vladimir Putin’s office. He also talks about Crimea: “We unknowingly participated in the Russian-led coup in Ukraine“.”We believed that there was a nationalist revival in Ukraine with a fascist aspect. The graves of our grandfathers are painted with swastikas“, he continues.”But after two years there, I realized that none of that was true.

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Now he wants to make an oral report about what he saw in Ukraine. Thanks to his testimony, he hopes the International Criminal Court will better understand how the Russian chain of command works.

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As for the risk he takes by testifying, Igor Salikov is well aware that his life is at stake. “But that’s what I’ve done all my life“, explains the person who left Russia.

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