Prisoners from PMC Wagner are replaced by a new unit - "Storm-Z". People in this unit have neither certificates nor contracts - the documents signed with the Ministry of Defense are confiscated from them, and when they call the Defense Ministry hotline, they answer that they do not have such people. This was told to the Can Explain project by the sister of a former prisoner recruited by Storm-Z.
According to Olena, her brother named Sergey [not his real name] was fraudulently dragged to the front in Ukraine and was not allowed to recover after two shrapnel wounds. He was serving a sentence under Article 162 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (robbery) in one of the Novosibirsk colonies. He was given 5.5 years, at the time when representatives of the Ministry of Defense offered to go to war, he had to sit for 2 years. At the same time, back in December, a representative of Wagner PMC came to the colony, but Sergei was not taken because of vision problems and lack of experience in military service. But in April, representatives of the Ministry of Defense arrived, and the man signed a contract with them. The sister notes that the department was not embarrassed either by vision problems or by the fact that her brother never served.
“They persuaded them to sign the contract as standard. They did not threaten, but they hung a whole bunch of noodles on their ears. They promised a salary of 195 to 205 thousand rubles. They said that "you will help your relatives, go only in the second flank, return as heroes and start life from scratch." He agreed to go not so much because of money, but because of freedom. In general, they were brainwashed normally.”
On April 28, Sergei and other prisoners left for the Rostov region to study, which usually takes a month. The men stayed there for just over a week, and people who had never held a machine gun in their hands went to the front line in Ukraine on May 12. According to the sister, during the month of service, 115 thousand rubles were transferred to the brother instead of the promised 205.
In June, Sergei received two shrapnel wounds in both legs, on his right thigh he “pulled out a piece of meat”, and on his left leg there was a through shrapnel wound with a fracture of the talus. The sister claims that on June 16 the laceration was sewn up to the man and the doctor recommended that he use a wheelchair. A second operation was scheduled for June 27, but on June 22, Sergei was again taken back to the front, preventing him from carrying out the operation.
His sister said that he could hardly move on crutches, he made dressings for himself. She wrote appeals to the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Health, the commissioner for human rights, the military prosecutor and the president. As a result, only the Ministry of Health sent a response, specifying that her letter was redirected to the Ministry of Defense.
Storm-Z are ghost people. Their tokens do not beat, there are no certificates or a contract on hand (it was immediately taken to the archive after signing). If you call 117 [the Ministry of Defense hotline for NVO issues], they answer that they don’t have such people.”
At the same time, Sergey himself told his sister that they had huge losses in the detachment, in a brigade of 120 people there were 5-8 people left. No mortars or any other support was sent to people from this detachment, they “went like meat,” the interlocutor concluded.
Russian propaganda media and agencies, including TASS, have repeatedly written about the Storm-Z squad, but did not provide any details. Officially, the fighters of the unit received medals from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, but it was not reported whether the Storm-Z fighters had contracts with the department.
The Insider previously drew attention to the fact that former prisoners who were recruited into Wagner PMCs, promising release from their terms in return, return to their hometowns and villages, where they begin to terrorize local residents. It is not uncommon for men who have returned from the war to abuse alcohol or die from overdoses of psychoactive substances, many former prisoners return to crime: several cases of murders committed by former mercenaries are already known in Russia.