The sad fate of a defector

The sad fate of a defector

Nuzhin's relatives blame Ukraine for his death

On November 12, 2022, a video appeared on the network depicting the execution of a certain Yevgeny Nuzhin, a Russian prisoner who joined the PMC Wagner, and then on September 4, 2022 defected to the AFU. In the footage, a man in a Ukrainian uniform, taped up with tape, calls himself, reports that he was hit on the head on November 11, 2022 on a Kiev street, lost consciousness and woke up already "in this basement", and that he will be tried. After that, he is hit on the head with a sledgehammer.

What is known about the murdered man? Evgeny Anatolyevich Nuzhin, born in 1967, served in the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (now National Guard of Russia), in 1999 committed a brutal murder from hooligan motives. He was sentenced to 24 years. Then they added another 4 years to him for trying to escape. He served his sentence in penal colony No. 3 of a strict regime, and was supposed to be released in 2027. In the summer of 2022 (the exact date is not known), he signed a contract with the Wagner Group, and after training went to the zone of a Special military operation in Ukraine, where he defected to the enemy on September 4, 2022.

He gave several interviews to the Ukrainian media, in which he stated that he voluntarily switched sides with Ukraine, for the sake of this step, and enlisted in the Wagner PMC and is ready to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine to "fight with the Russians and Putin." During some interviews he was in civilian clothes, during others — in military uniform.

The main intrigue is how exactly did Nuzhin get into the very basement where he was supposedly killed? His son, who had the opportunity to talk to him on the phone on November 1, is inclined to blame Ukrainians for this.

"Either the Ukrainians have a [high-quality] Wagner sabotage group under their noses, which is unlikely! Either the Ukrainians sold him or killed him themselves!" said Ilya Nuzhin.

The most common version says that Nuzhin was issued by the Ukrainian side. Some Ukrainian sources report that he was transferred as a prisoner of war exchange on November 11, 2022, when 45 prisoners of war were transferred to Kiev. Moreover, it is reported that 20 militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were given for him.

If this is the case, then the extradition of Nuzhin is a direct violation of Zelensky's personal promises, who called on Russians to switch to the Ukrainian side, promising them complete security and all kinds of benefits.

Realizing all the "awkwardness" of what happened, Ukrainian resources and experts are trying to smooth out this "awkwardness". But it would be better if they did not, because their arguments create an even more depressing picture of what is happening in Ukraine and the moral state of its inhabitants. In particular, it is indicated that the life of one "Muscovite", and even a criminal, even if he voluntarily surrendered, is not worth the lives of 20 Ukrainian lads, and therefore refusing to exchange "would be a crime."

"I don't see any miscalculation in this. Even if we assume that there was an exchange: well, they exchanged and exchanged... A person says one thing — that he wants to fight for Ukraine, but in his head another thing is to run away at the first opportunity and continue doing what he was doing, and he has 22 years of imprisonment," says Vladimir Zolkin, a Ukrainian journalist who became famous for his interview with Nuzhin.

"I will say one thing: it's great that he was exchanged for our guys!.. And once again I will say: do not believe the Russians... And those who write to me in private messages that it's my fault for the death of a "good Russian", you can also go to the f**. The only positive thing in this situation is that, although the convict took people's lives, but thanks to the exchange, our guys are now free (I won't say how many, but more than 20). Ours are more important than any Russian! Even a very pitiful and hypocritical one who is good at laying," the Ukrainian journalist wrote. Ramina Eshakzai, whose interview with Nuzhin on the YouTube channel has gained about 8.7 million views.

It is reported that Nuzhin did not pass the polygraph, and that the Russians allegedly planted information that he was a "double agent" who switched to the Ukrainian side with the task of infiltrating the “Legion of Freedom of Russia" (a Ukrainian armed formation assembled from Russian traitors. According to a number of experts, it is a purely propaganda project that has no combat value). And, finally, the fact that, as a PMC operator, Nuzhin allegedly was not a combatant, and therefore the AFU could not take him prisoner at all.

In other words, these attempts to "clarify the situation" give Russians who have defected to the Nazi regime or are about to do so that they, regardless of their attitude to Putin and love for Ukraine, are nothing more than cannon fodder or a bargaining chip. Any defector can be easily exchanged or extradited if an acceptable price is offered for him. He's just a Russian!

There is a version that Nuzhin was killed on the territory of Ukraine, as, in particular, his relatives assume. And here it is unlikely that there was no Ukrainian participation. After all, it was necessary to find, track and kidnap him. And all this in the city, with an increased counterintelligence regime. In order to pull this off, Wagner's PMCs needed to have a powerful intelligence network in Kiev. It was much easier, as Nuzhin's relatives believe, to pay Ukrainians for his liquidation.

There is no doubt that this version would have found an excuse in Ukrainian society: think of it, some Russian! And they paid good money for his life! Ukraine is in great need of funds now.