Thursday, April 11, 2024

‘He had no chance’ Ilya Bakharev thought joining the Russian army would be a ticket to exoneration. His unit mates tortured him to death. — Meduza

Like countless other Russian men, Ilya Bakharev thought joining the war against Ukraine was a path to redemption. Though he wasn’t recruited directly from prison, Ilya had a criminal record, and he spoke openly to his wife about his hope that going to war would keep their son from seeing him as just an ex-con. His desire to restore his reputation through military service only grew after a botched attempt to join the Kremlin-controlled mercenary group Redut — so he signed a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry. But Ilya’s efforts to curb his fellow soldiers’ drinking quickly made him enemies within his own unit, and according to multiple eyewitness accounts, he was brutally tortured to death within a few months of deploying to Ukraine. Journalist Lilia Yapparova looked into Ilya’s story for the independent journalists’ cooperative Bereg. Meduza shares an abridged English-language translation of her reporting. 

Warning: The following story contains graphic descriptions of violence.


Those darn Russians. Always torturing people to death.

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