Survivors say Putin’s militia filmed sexual assault victims naked

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/Daily Beast/Getty

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/Daily Beast/Getty

ABUJA, NIGERIA — Survivors of armed raids say mercenaries Putin’s private army He sexually assaulted 12 women and girls, at least one of whom was 15 years old, and humiliated them by filming their naked bodies with a smartphone after the attack.

soldiers of the wagner group They are supposed to be in Mali in an advisory role, but evidence continues to emerge of human rights abuses and massacres linked to militias employed by Putin’s close allies. Evgeny PrigogineIt also played a key role in the invasion of Ukraine.

One of the victims told the Daily Beast that Russian militiamen shot her in the head and knocked her unconscious after she refused to remove her clothes. When she regained consciousness, she was lying naked on the ground, with five other women also undressing.

“We were surrounded by white soldiers,” Mariam, 23, said. “Some had phones and were taking pictures of us.”

Witnesses said the attack began around 8:00 am on September 4 in the village of Nia Oura in the Mopti region of central Mali. Diarra, 30, told The Daily Beast that he was on the farm when Russian mercenaries, accompanied by Malian Army (FAMA) soldiers and traditional Dozo fraternity hunters, stormed his compound and began firing in the air. He said he was preparing to leave for .

“While they were shooting, they called us traitors and claimed that we were working with terrorists to attack them,” said two other witnesses. Diarra, who the Daily Beast identifies by his first name to protect him from possible retaliation, said. “They kept saying they would deal with us.”

After about 30 minutes of sporadic shooting, paramilitaries, members of the notorious Wagner Group, ordered the arrest of the men on the premises, leaving only the women and children.

Putin’s private army accused of committing the most heinous massacre ever

“White soldiers ordered FAMA and Dozo Hunter to take everyone to Sofala. [a town located 6 miles from Nia Oura,where Wagner’s central base is located]Diarra, who was able to flee into a nearby bush with two other men after hearing the Russians order their arrest, said Diarra. I heard him yelling, ‘Leave me alone’.”

After spending more than two hours hiding from the invaders, Diarra and his two neighbors were on their way home, they say, when they heard a woman screaming in the compound as Wagner’s mercenaries abused and abused them. I was. The three men waited on the road until they were sure the Russians had left before proceeding to the compound.

“When we got back, we met women crying,” Diarra said. “Some had blood on their clothes.”

Diarra said there were about a dozen women and girls on the premises, all of whom had been sexually assaulted by Wagner paramilitaries.

“The women said white soldiers stripped them of their clothes, raped them, took their smartphones and videotaped them naked,” Diarra said. “The women said they were treated like animals.”

Wagner’s paramilitaries, which have been deployed in a series of attacks against Islamic extremists, have carried out numerous atrocities across the rebellious country since arriving in Mali late last year after striking a lucrative deal with the new military government. As the Daily Beast first reported, Many of the men who fought and cut their teeth for Wagner in Africa have since been redeployed to illegal warfare in Ukraine..

Notorious Russian mercenaries pulled out of Africa, Ukraine ready

In August, the NGO Armed Conflict Places and Events Data Project (ACLED) reported to be close to Since the beginning of 2022, 500 civilians have died in incidents involving the Malian army and Wagner. about 300 men were killed Four days of massacres involving private military company mercenaries.

Another survivor of the attack on the compound, Seydoux, 37, told The Daily Beast, accusing him of working for a jihadist, blindfolded and telling Wagner’s Sofala base that he had nothing to do with it. Told that he was arrested by Dozo Hunters until he was convinced.To Islamist extremists. When he got home, he found out that his 15-year-old cousin had been sexually assaulted by a Russian.

“My cousin told me that two white soldiers raped her in front of her room and her colleagues,” said Seydoux, who was detained for five hours. I took a picture of the nude body of

According to a local trader who witnessed the incident, not far from where Seydoux and his cousin live, another group of women were gathered by Wagner’s mercenaries on the grounds near an elementary school before being photographed. I was ordered to take off my clothes.

“Women who did not immediately comply with orders to undress were beaten and their clothes torn by white soldiers,” he said.

Neither the Mali government nor Prigogine responded to the Daily Beast’s request for comment on the alleged rape and abuse of women in Naia Oura. Emails sent to Malian government spokespeople and Concord Management, the company majority-owned by Mr. Prigogine, were not responded to.

Malian authorities claim that more than 1,000 Russian militias are merely instructors and are not deployed on combat missions. The government has remained silent about Nia’s atrocities in Oura.

Locals say the torment inflicted on them by the Wagner group will never go away.

“My cousin has been traumatized for weeks and cries every day,” said Seydoux. “I hope one day it will heal.”

See The Daily Beast for more information.

Get the Daily Beast’s biggest scoops and scandals delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and get unlimited access to the Daily Beast’s unparalleled reports. Subscribe now.