Satellite images of an area near a village in Russia show a rapidly expanding cemetery where many of those killed fighting for the Wagner group are buried. CNN.
A new row of graves in Wagner CemeteryPhoto: Uncredited / WillWest News / Profimedia
Images of rows of new graves near the village of Pakinskaya in the Krasnodar region first began appearing on social media in December.
On January 2, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti showed Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin visiting the site and laying a wreath at one of the graves.
“We bury here the fighters who specified in their wishes to be buried here,” Prigozhin explained, RIA reported. “Or orphans and those whose bodies, for some reason, relatives don’t want to take.”
Satellite images taken on November 24, 2022 show three rows of graves on the new land. When Prigozhin visited in early January, he told RIA Novosti that 93 graves had been dug up. Another Maxar satellite image, taken on January 24, already shows the entire plot with 14 additional rows.
Wagner’s mercenaries have been locked in a long battle with Ukrainian forces, have captured the town of Soledar and are now attacking the town of Bahmut and surrounding villages. Ukrainian officials say Wagner sent waves of infantry toward their positions, suffering heavy casualties in the process.
The high number of casualties earned the area the nickname “Meat Grinder”, and the rapidly expanding Baginskaya Cemetery explains the high death toll.
According to Wagner’s founder Evgeny Prigozhin, only a few of the group’s fighters are buried there.
The US Treasury Department on Thursday designated Wagner a significant transnational criminal organization and imposed a series of sanctions on a transnational network that supports it.
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