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Dmitri Utkin is not the first name that comes to mind when talking about the Wagner group. But like former Chechen war veteran, supporter of neo-Nazi ideologies, one of the co-founders of the mercenary group, leader Evgeny Prigozhin (Ivkuny Prigozhin in Portuguese translation). This Wednesday, August 23, the two were killed when the jet they were traveling in crashed north of Moscow.
In Wagner Group’s founding document dated May 1, 2014, the encyclopedia writes that Woodkin was the group’s “commander” and was responsible for training, organizing and recruiting new players. British. Prigozhin was appointed “director”, with responsibilities ranging from acquiring weapons to raising funds for the group.
When the European Union (EU) added the mercenary group to its sanctions list, Wagner wrote in a statement that the group was “led by Dmitry Utkin and financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin.”
Although he was one of the officers in the group, A report by the Soufan Center Wagner explains that Utkin’s ideology in the group’s formation and evolution was not entirely aligned with the private military’s “monetary and nationalist” motivations. All over his skin, Nazi tattoos abound, including a swastika cross, an eagle, and SS rays (SchuttstaffelNazi paramilitary organization).
According to New YorkerWoodkin called his subordinates “Hey!” and wore a beret Wehrmacht, similar to those used by German soldiers in World War II. Sometimes he is said to have signed two SS thunderbolts next to his name.
Woodkin was responsible for the Wagner Group name, using his own code name. The name pays tribute to composer Richard Wagner, a favorite musician of Woodkin and Adolf Hitler.
From Chechnya to Ukraine, via Syria
Dmitry Utkin was born in June 1970 in Russia. He was an agent of the Military Intelligence Services (GRU) of the Russian Special Forces to fight in two wars in Chechnya between 1994 and 1996 and 1999 and 2000.
In the early 2000s, and for a period of ten years, he was the commander of the Second Brigade. Spetsnaz According to the GRUs on the border with Estonia Guardian.
He would continue to serve in the GRU, where he rose to lieutenant colonel, until 2013, then joined Grupo de Segurança Moran (MSG), a private security company specializing in maritime security. Center for Strategic and International Studies. The MSG is responsible for organizing the Slavic Corps, which was formed in 2014 to support Bashar al-Assad’s regime during the Syrian civil war. However, the corporation was defeated in clashes with the Islamic State.
Utkin is accused of several war crimes committed during his time in the Syrian city of Homs. As stated therein Sky NewsOn one occasion, he allegedly ordered a fugitive to be beaten to death and demanded that the whole thing be filmed.
After the mission in Syria failed, Woodkin left MSG and founded the Wagner Group, still in 2014. In the same year, as a member of the group, he participated in Russian operations in eastern Ukraine.
In December 2016, he was decorated as a Knight of the Russian Distinguished Order of Courage, which recognizes selfless courage and heroism, at a ceremony in the Kremlin.
Wagner Group No. 2 was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in 2017 due to support provided to Russian separatist groups in Ukraine. Think tank New America.
Dmitry Utkin’s last public appearance was in July, a month after the failed uprising. In a video posted by Prigozhin on the Internet, Utkin spoke to soldiers in Belarus. “This is not the end, this is the beginning of the world’s greatest work, which will continue very soon”, he said. “And welcome to Hell,” he concluded.
“Hardcore explorer. Extreme communicator. Professional writer. General music practitioner. Prone to fits of apathy.”