Shafaq News / A report from the Russian news agency website confirmed the death of an Iraqi citizen fighting alongside the Wagner Group, a Russian private military company, in Ukraine. This marks the first confirmed case of a Middle Eastern citizen dying in the ongoing conflict.
Abbas Abu Thar Watut, the Iraqi national, was reported to have died on April 7th, shortly after his admission to a Wagner Group hospital in the Russian-controlled city of Lugansk, Eastern Ukraine.
Wutut sustained his fatal injuries in Bakhmut, located in the Donetsk region, an area claimed to have been seized by Wagner in mid-May following a protracted battle since the previous year, according to Russian business tycoon, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
In an interview with a pro-Russian blogger, Prigozhin stated that the conflict has cost his group 20,000 of its members' lives.
A video clip published by the news agency website showcased a man identified as Watut’s father, receiving posthumous honors for his son and expressing his endorsement of his son's decision to join Wagner as a volunteer. He claimed that Abbas had sought to defend his freedom and found that freedom in Russia.
Prigozhin did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.
Much of the fighting in Bakhmut was carried out by convicts, who Wagner had lured with promises of pardons if they could withstand six months on the Ukrainian battlefronts.
Legal documents reviewed by Reuters revealed that a court in the Russian city of Kazan had sentenced Watut to four-and-a-half years imprisonment on drug-related charges in July 2021.
The documents detailed that Watut was a first-year student at a technical university in Kazan when he was apprehended by police in possession of a substantial quantity of cannabis.