VLADIMIR Putin’s ruthless death squad has allegedly been spotted entering Ukraine, sources have claimed.
Hundreds of enforcers known as Wagner Group operatives are said to have been deployed on the country’s eastern front – sparking fresh fears for the safety of civilians.
According to insiders, the private army, entrusted by the president, have been drafted in to boost Russia’s faltering assault.
Having fought in region since 2014 alongside pro-Russian separatists, the savage operatives are thought to have one of the world’s worst reputations for war crimes.
Named after Hitlers’ favourite composer, the group was reportedly formed by GRU special forces officer Dimitry Utkin.
Utkin led battles in the first and second Chechen Wars, which developed a reputation for ruthlessness.
In December last year, the Council of the European Union reportedly imposed restrictive measures against Utkin and other individuals associated with the Wagner Group.
The lieutenant colonel was accused of being “responsible for serious human rights abuses committed by the group, including torture, executions and killings.”
And with the unit having reportedly been spotted in Popasna, Luhansk, sources on the front line are understandably concerned.
A source told the Mirror: “The presence of the Wagner Group in large numbers is a worrying development because they are so unaccountable.
“The only possible reason they are there is to be used as a force that can do what it likes and it won’t be seen as the responsibility of the Russian regime.”
Filing a report on Saturday, the Associated Press said: “At first glance, preparations for Monday’s celebration of Victory Day, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, seem to be the same as ever.
“But the mood this year is very different, because Russian troops are fighting and dying again.
“And this battle, now in its 11th week, is going on in neighbouring Ukraine, against what the government has falsely called a campaign against “Nazis”.
它继续: “The pride and patriotism usually associated with Russia’s most important holiday, marked by a huge parade of soldiers and military hardware through Red Square, is mixing with apprehension and unease over what this year’s Victory Day may bring.
“Some Russians fear that President Vladimir Putin will use it to declare that what the Kremlin has previously called a “special military operation” in Ukraine will now be a fully-fledged war – bringing with it a broad mobilisation of troops to bolster Russia’s forces.”
Ukraine have already warned about an “escalation of attacks” ahead of the parade.
Yevhen Yenin, Ukraine’s first deputy interior minister, 说: “These symbolic dates are to the Russian aggressor like red to a bull.
“While the entire civilized world remembers the victims of terrible wars on these days, the Russian Federation wants parades and is preparing to dance over bones in Mariupol.”