Vitaly Votanovsky, a Krasnodar blogger and author of the telegram channel “Titushki in Krasnodar”, who monitors the sharp expansion of the local cemetery and the fresh graves of Wagner PMC mercenaries, said that after the publication of photos and some analytics on the dead, he received a call on behalf of the funeral service staff.
Votanovsky was offered to buy a plot at a cemetery at a discount for use in the next two years, and as a gift – to process a photo for a monument. After the Krasnodar resident said that he was not going to die, the caller began to persuade him to buy the site after all.
Votanovsky’s posts were also noticed by local media. He was called a supporter of Zelensky, and in the comments they called for reprisal: “Why hasn’t this creature photographing the graves of the dead been killed in Krasnodar yet? Probably we need help.” Another commenter placed a photo of the blogger on the cross.
Votanovsky says that he does not plan to turn to the police yet, but will wait for “real actions” that may follow against him.
The cemetery in the village of Bakuskaya, the author of the telegram channel “Titushki in Krasnodar”, military pensioner Vitaly Votanovsky discovered in December last year. He told Kavkaz.Realiyam about him. The cemetery in Bakuskaya, like the previously discovered small columbarium near the chapel in Goryachiy Klyuch (about 10 km between the two cemeteries), is located not far from the GRU special forces base in Molkin: according to media reports, the Wagner PMC mercenary training center is stationed there.
Earlier, according to witnesses, a representative of PMC Wagner, during the recruitment of convicts in the Saratov colony, said that the bodies of mercenaries unclaimed by their families would be buried next to the chapel of the Great Martyr George the Victorious near Goryachiy Klyuch in the Krasnodar Territory (this saint is considered the patron saint of the Orthodox army, the building is indicated on online maps). In Goryachiy Klyuch, there is indeed a small cult building closed to outsiders, and around it there are boxes similar to a columbarium.
At the end of December last year, Wagner PMC owner Yevgeny Prigozhin confirmed that the newly created cemetery in the village of Bakuskaya, Krasnodar Territory, belongs to his private military company.
PMC Wagner is a Russian unofficial military unit that does not appear on the balance sheet of the military departments and in the register of legal entities. Its founder is Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman close to the Kremlin, known as “Putin’s chef.” In September 2022, he finally admitted his involvement in PMCs officially, although earlier in court he denied allegations that he was “the owner of Wagner PMCs.”
Russian legislation prohibits the activities of private military companies. However, back in 2012, Vladimir Putin spoke out in support of private military companies, and the first attempt to pass a law on their legalization was made in October 2014. In 2018, a bill legalizing PMCs was resubmitted to the State Duma, but was never adopted. In March 2022, after the start of the war in Ukraine, it was once again submitted for consideration by the leader of the “Fair Russia” Sergei Mironov. Soon, Russian deputies will once again consider amendments to the bill, which provide for the creation of volunteer units by decision of the Russian president.
Despite the “gray” legislative status of the “Wagner PMC”, the training of the “Wagnerites” takes place at the base of the GRU special forces in the village of Molkino near Krasnodar, and Prigozhin himself is actively recruiting prisoners in Russian colonies for the war in Ukraine, promising them a pardon for this.
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