According to reports from escaped soldiers, Russia is publicly executing its own soldiers who defy Vladimir Putin, the Daily Star reported.

Russian Wagner group members who were captured have opened up to their Ukrainian captors about the public executions they saw carried out by their own leaders. The Wagner group is a controversial organization made up of criminals who have been sent to the front lines, including drug dealers, murderers, and rapists.

"Those who disobey are eliminated – and it’s done publicly," one said earlier this week.

Yevgeniy Prigozhin's Wagner group, which consists of ex-prisoners assigned to fight on the front lines, was thought to be Putin's most lethal covert weapon during his invasion of Ukraine.

State-run media in Russia has been praising Prigozhin, even though the leader openly attacked his political rivals for losing the battle and cited the performance of his private army as an illustration of fundamental Russian values.

The Kremlin is meant to be saved by the inmates. The Wagner mercenary organization, led by rising star Yevgeniy Prigozhin, is being lauded by state-controlled media.

The squad hasn't always been the ruthless fighters Kremlin officials had envisioned, though.

According to reports, the crooks-turned-troops suffered numerous casualties during their attack on the mining village of Soledar, and not just from Ukraine, but from their own ranks too.

"There are squadrons of liquidators... shelling began," the former inmate reportedly said. "One of the prisoners laid down and didn’t cover his own men."

He also said, "the shelling stopped, he went back, and the boss shouted, 'why didn’t you go forward?'"

"And they killed him. The boss is killed if his team deserts," he added.

Some of the prisoner-mercenaries, according to the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), are even pleading with human rights organizations to send them back to jail rather than putting them to death by their leaders.

"Losses in so-called meat grinder assaults are said to be enormous, especially among convicts whose role is to reveal Ukrainian positions by advancing to draw their fire," Russian propaganda analyst Kseniya Kirillova writes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits Red Square On National Unity Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin carries a bouquet of red roses during the ceremony at Red Square on November 4, 2022, in Moscow, Russia. President Putin laid flowers to the Monument of Minin and Pozharsky at Red Square marking the National Unity Day. Contributor/Getty Images.

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