A man in a Ukrainian uniform with the well-known yellow and blue insignia is castrated in front of the camera, then someone shoots him in the head and drags him into a grave – in the background you can see a car with the Russian one
“Z Symbol”. The recording of this torture murder recently went viral on various Telegram channels. It was initially hailed on the pro-Russian side until Putin’s supporters called it “probable fakes”. In their view, it was planted in the sewers by Ukrainian agents to discredit Russia’s army.
To date, it has remained unclear who the victims and perpetrators are. The investigative network Bellingcat, together with colleagues from the platform The Insider, did extensive research and found out that the recordings took place on the grounds of the Privolye sanatorium in the Luhansk region. Insider writes that the alleged perpetrator is said to be Ochur-Suge Mongush, born in 1993, from Tuvar in Siberia.
Bellingcat refrains from revealing his identity.
It is said to be a fighter from the Achmat Battalion, a Chechen paramilitary formation. It is named after Ramsaw Kadyrov’s father, Akhmat Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov. He was killed in a bomb attack at a stadium in the capital Grozny on May 9, 2004.
The Achmat group was also involved in the capture of the Azot chemical plant in eastern Ukraine’s Szerodonetsk, videos showed. There, as well as in other footage filmed by Russian news agencies, a man could be seen holding the knife and mutilating the prisoner of war in the violent video: he was wearing the same characteristic hat with a border of shells, armband and military uniform.
The researchers then contacted him “to offer him the right to an answer,” it says. Speaking to reporters, he admitted that he was deployed to Ukraine as a member of the Achmat group and that he was “the man in the cowboy hat”. However, he denied that he was in the mutilation and execution videos.
“I’m not willing to do such nonsense, I didn’t even fire a single shot from the guns they gave me,” he said. “It doesn’t smell like Achmat’s work.”
However, the man confirmed that he was detained and questioned by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) for two days about the footage. Russians he met in Ukraine sent him the violent videos shortly after they were published – with the words: “Look at the shit that was filmed about you.” to make a statement.