“I killed 200 people, but I’m worse than I was.” Mercenary Wagner returned to Russia and

Zhamkov told how he came to Ukraine as part of the Wagner mercenary force. He was recruited from prison in the fall of 2022 while serving an eight-year sentence for drug trafficking.

He was injured during fighting in Bahmut, Donetsk region. An amnesty was promised to forced prisoners and compensation of half a million rubles (about 5,300 euros) was given to the injured.

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He used the compensation to pay off the family’s home loan. According to Zamko, he had debts of 500,000 rubles. In March, the bank foreclosed on his family’s apartment. The house already has a new owner, but the family hasn’t been evicted yet.

If someone comes and takes over my house I will shoot them in the head! No one has come yet.

Vladislav Zhamkov:

“What did I fight for? Why was I cannon fodder?! Why did I kill people I didn’t know? I went to another country and took part in those operations there. I killed 200 people. Why did I take their lives and cause pain to their families? Come back to my own country and feel useless? ” Zamkov reflects in one of his videos.

The mercenary opened his one YouTube channel, after returning home to Pitkiaranta, Republic of Karelia last spring. The city on the banks of Ladoga belonged to Finland before the Winter War (during World War II), but was ceded to the Soviet Union in 1944.

In his videos, Zhamkov complains that interest on loans promised to those returning from the front was never canceled. He notes that Wagner fighters do not have the same benefits as contract soldiers in the Ministry of Defense.

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Zhamkov also did not receive the player’s certificate, “It’s a problem at the local employment office.” Apart from a day’s wages in construction, he was offered only “the option to return to the front in Ukraine”.

On his channel, mercenaries draw attention to the dire state of the town of 5,000 people, talking about high unemployment and abandoned buildings and playgrounds: “There are people living in these houses who see all this. They go to draw water from wells and defecate in cesspools.”

In the cultural center, Zhamkov presents a broken staircase and a half-destroyed mosaic from the Soviet era.

He says he is an ordinary citizen who is “fed up with all this”.

I don’t see any government support. No one forced me to fight, but a new life was promised if you survived. I survived, but now I realize I was just cannon fodder. I got worse.

Vladislav Zhamkov:


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