The former mercenary of PMC “Wagner” wrote memoirs about his participation in hostilities in Syria as part of a private military company.
Marat Gabidullin, a soldier of luck from PMC “Wagner”, gave an interview to the Russian edition of “Medusa” under his name.
According to him, he wrote the book under the pseudonym “Grandfather Martin,” which was invented for him by “Putin’s cook”, the owner of the PMC. He wrote the book under the pseudonym “Grandfather Martin,” which, he said, was invented for him by the owner of PMC Evgeny Prigozhin. Gabidullin said that he served in PMCs for four years. He rose from an ordinary soldier to the commander of a reconnaissance company.
Gabidullin noted that Prigozhin read a draft of the memoirs back in 2017 and asked to add the history of the formation of Russian mercenaries, so that “this chapter led to the fact that not so many mercenaries and bad guys.
He added that Prigozhin himself published two or three copies of his book, coming up with his own name: “Wagner. Overture to Faust”.
Gabidullin added that Prigozhin asked him not to publish his memoirs before 2022, but did not explain the reasons. However, the fighter decided to publish his memoirs in 2020.
“Because you can’t be so fond of secrecy: why fight yourself when the whole world knows,” he said.
In his memoirs, Gabidullin also characterized “Wagner” – the head of the PMC Dmitry Utkin, calling him “businessman”.
“As a tactician and strategist he covers all our generals. But there were times when he could require more resources from the top management to perform the task. But he did not apply this command law: he simply did not want to quarrel with his superiors. And the guys eventually turned into just cannon fodder. In 2017, for example, you couldn’t go to the oil fields with such weapons and quantity of ammunition – you just couldn’t. But the military said to go. When the mortars are stupidly short of mines, and you chase people “forward and forward”, you’re not a commander anymore. You are a businessman: if you push back the (oil) fields, you will get a bonus. As a result, the fighters stopped trusting the commanders – and this is not even the only reason,” – said Gabidullin.
According to the soldier, the worst moment of the entire military company was the attack on the oil refinery, which was under control of the fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces and their American advisers.
“I have not seen this opponent! The opponent were American turntables. I had a short automatic rifle then, shortened – for close combat – but even if I had a full one, I would not have got this helicopter. Confronting something unknown, which will now fly in and smash your head in. Of course, the commander of the Russian group and the Americans were always in touch. The Americans, as soon as they began to make phone contact, began to ask our people to admit that the formations were Russians. If ours had been recognized, then perhaps the Americans’ actions would have been different – purely preemptive. But our general shattered the idea: “There are no Russians there! Obviously, he was officially afraid to admit it. Why did he need these problems,” he said.
Gabidullin noted that PMC fighters were often engaged in looting. In particular, they took ancient stones from Palmyra after it was liberated from the militants of the “Islamic State”.
According to him, since 2017, PMCs have also “traded awards. The mercenaries agreed on medals with their commanders and represented looters who shared their loot with their superiors.
Also, the fighter told about the extortion, which were engaged commanders: “Since 2018, some commanders took up to half of the prize fund allocated to the squad, and the rest – crumbs – handed out to the fighters. And in the international platoon, where served the Serbs, and led all the Serbian mercenary Davor Savicic, back in 2015, the extortion was from the guys. Davor managed to inspire them with the idea that ‘you’re here in Russia, holding on at my expense. And without my cover you will be sent back to Serbia. So 50 thousand rubles with each receipt – to me”.