The publication “People of Baikal” spoke about a previously unknown mass grave of mercenaries who died during the fighting in Ukraine. Journalists discovered at least 57 graves at the Alexander Cemetery, 11 kilometers from Irkutsk.
A section of the forest near the cemetery was cleared for burial in September-October 2022, the newspaper writes. “People of Baikal” first learned about this place in March 2023.
Among the mercenaries buried in this cemetery, 20 people were born or lived in the Irkutsk region, 17 in Transbaikalia, 11 in Buryatia, the journalists found out.
Of the 57 buried fighters of the PMC Wagner, only five are on the list of “People of Baikal”. They include the soldiers who died in Ukraine from the Irkutsk region and Buryatia on the basis of obituaries in social networks and regional newspapers. The death of the rest was not reported.
43 of the dead were prisoners, aged 20 to 62. 17 of them were convicted on charges of murder, the rest – on charges of theft and drugs. The criminal record of ten “People of Baikal” could not be confirmed.
The journalists contacted the relatives of the dead mercenaries. Several families did not know that their loved ones had died in the war.
Another military burial at the Alexander cemetery has 13 graves, at least ten of the dead are residents of the Irkutsk region. As the “People of Baikal” found out, three of those buried in this part of the Alexander cemetery were volunteers, two were mobilized, and one more was a contract soldier. All of them died between December 2022 and March 2023.
One of the dead mobilized served in regiment No. 1439. The servicemen of this regiment asked Russian President Vladimir Putin three times to transfer them from the assault units.
By April 14 it was known about seven cemeteries where the Wagner PMC fighters who died in the war in Ukraine are buried. In total, at least 995 people were buried on them, wrote the BBC Russian Service and Mediazona, which keep count of the dead participants in the Russian invasion.
One of the largest known burials of Wagner PMC fighters who died in Ukraine is the cemetery in the village of Bakinskaya, Krasnodar Territory. By March 17, journalists and volunteers had counted 422 graves of mercenaries there.