Are Russia’s Mercenaries a Threat to U.S. Interests?
PMC Wagner – undercover mercenaries
Will thugs from Russia go unpunished?
A terrible crime in Syria by sadistic mercenaries who, according to «Novaya Gazeta», are part of «private military company Wagner» («PMC Wagner»), caused a wide response among the Russian audience. At the same time, many comments express doubt that the egregious case will be properly investigated in Russia, and the perpetrators will suffer well-deserved punishment..
We will remind, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov on the eve named the photos and video of the massacre «Wagnerians» over a captive Syrian «shocking». It is difficult to disagree with such a definition. A defenseless person at the beginning «processed» with a sledgehammer, then they cut off his head, and then, sprinkling with gasoline, burned the corpse on which they wrote «For airborne forces and reconnaissance». And all this accompanied by laughter and music accompaniment.
But the Kremlin’s spokesman was far less certain as to whether the Russian competent authorities would obligatory investigate the publication. According to him, they will do it if «find it necessary». Earlier, Peskov, commenting on the chilling crime, said that in any case it had no direct relation to the Russian military operation in Syria..
Director of the Human Rights Group «Citizen. Army. Right» Sergey Krivenko in an interview with the Russian service «Voices of America» noted that this brutal war crime falls under the rules of the Geneva Convention. And here, in his opinion, it does not matter that it was committed by civilians who were not formally involved in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation..
«This crime must necessarily be investigated, and Russia has all the levers to act within the framework of the extraterritorial principle., – he added. – Yes, the crime was committed abroad, but by a citizen of Russia. Therefore, Russia has every right to investigate a crime and punish those responsible for it.».
At the same time, the human rights activist found it difficult to say whether it will happen as it should: «In Russia, there is no law, but there is politics, so everything can go according to any scenario. So in this sense, the situation is completely unclear.».
but Sergey Krivenko I am convinced that it is necessary to ensure that the crime committed with special cynicism does not go unpunished.
Chairperson «Committee against Torture», member of the Human Rights Council under the President Igor Kalyapin called Dmitry Peskov’s reaction to the sadistic crime in Syria «inadequate». At the same time, he found it difficult to say whether the Russian authorities are interested in solving the crime due to the fact that there «ears stick out» PMC-Wagner.
«The Investigative Committee, and in this case, it is obvious that it is he who should initiate a criminal case on this matter, there are more than enough reasons to act immediately., – he asserts in the comment «Voice of America». – But our investigative bodies work in manual mode, and it is not very clear who is giving them the command. Therefore, it is completely impossible to predict whether all necessary measures will be taken in accordance with the law or not.».
At the time of the preparation of the material about the reaction of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) in connection with the resonant crime, nothing was known.
As it seems to Igor Kalyapin, other priorities have been formulated before the TFR, to which it is necessary to respond promptly: «Despite the fact that the criminal code of the Russian Federation contains a corresponding article for mercenary activity, PMC-Wagner does not disappear from the news feed. It is clear that the prison has been crying for them for a long time. But the TFR is inactive. Although suddenly, as if on command, loud criminal cases are easily initiated on far-fetched reasons, and someone is brought to the strictest responsibility for throwing a plastic bottle (at the police)».
This is some kind of psychological anomaly, the chairman summed up. «Committee against Torture».
In turn, the editor-in-chief of the online edition Insider Roman Dobrokhotov considers Dmitry Peskov’s reaction to be quite logical and predictable. Otherwise, in his opinion, the Kremlin would, in fact, have to sign that Russian mercenaries are openly operating in Syria, people accountable to the federal authorities in one way or another..
«This is with regard to the political plane of the problem, – he stressed in a conversation with a reporter «Voices of America». – From a legal point of view, it is undoubtedly necessary to initiate a criminal case, since we are talking about Russian citizens who have committed a grave crime abroad with particular harshness. I’m not even talking about the fact that they are mercenaries makes them criminals.».
At the same time, the journalist does not think that a full-scale and public investigation of this crime is possible in Russia. Otherwise, in his opinion, we will have to call things by their proper names, which the authorities cannot allow..
«The very concept of creating a private military corporation, acting in the interests of the Russian leadership, presupposes the existence of a gasket between the Kremlin and the mercenaries., – he thinks. – This is done in order to avoid responsibility. Therefore, under any unforeseen circumstances, mercenaries are always exposed as persons who are not accountable to anyone, appearing literally out of nowhere.».
Although de facto they are often governed, for example, by such a structure as the GRU, concluded the editor-in-chief of Insider.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, Russian journalists have identified many of the participants in the atrocity. One of them – former patrol officer, dismissed from the authorities for «immoral», another had previously fought in Chechnya, the third was allegedly killed near Deir ez-Zor during an air raid by the American Air Force.
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