In May 2018, just over a year after Hamdi Bouta’s family held a secret funeral for him in the summer of 2017, the victim’s family reported receiving a copy of a video (Video A) showing the Russian-speaking man using A fist hit the sledgehammer on Hamdi Bouta WhatsApp. Syrian journalists from al-Jessr Press are now investigating the matter.
By the spring of 2018, the first video had been circulating on the Internet for at least a year, and the link between the al-Shaer incident and the Wagner group persuaded human rights activists in Syria and France to try to raise awareness about the incident in Moscow 96. Apparently little is known about where it took place or the identities of these individuals in the video, other than their alleged ties to the Wagner Group.
While the Kremlin has repeatedly denied that there is any direct link between the Russian government and the operators of Russian private military and security companies deployed in Syria, plenty of evidence suggests otherwise. 97 Dozens of men reportedly identified in connection with U.S. attack on Wagner in spring 2018 During fighting near another SPC-operated natural gas facility near the town of Khasham in Deir ez-Zor on February 7, 2018 The group’s contingent has gradually surfaced in international media on Russian social media platform Vkontakte. 99
There is significant circumstantial evidence that at least two of the Russian men described in the video torturing Hamdi Bouta at the al-Shaer facility were killed in the April 7 U.S. airstrike on the Wagner Group column. May 2018 Injury or injury. killed. The dots linking the two events — the al-Shaer atrocity and the Battle of Khasham in Deir Ezzor — are not a straight line, but they exist in a tight web of Russian companies, businessmen and operators of private military and security companies They were together in Donbass before being deployed to Syria.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, social media analyzed the digital archives of individual Russian private military and security company operators during the fighting in al-Shaer in spring 2017 and later in Deir ez-Zor in winter 2018 The encounter reveals a close friendship through Vkontakte with Russian citizens accused of war crimes in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine in the fall of 2015. While these connections among social media users are not necessarily an excuse for any particular analysis of online misconduct, the virtual lives of individuals in these groups shed light on their military experience, as well as the skills and capabilities that Russian companies like EvroPolis possess. Development has been attempted.
Video Evidence Analysis
On the evening of June 30, 2017, the media reported the clip of the first two minutes. The video (Video A) shows several Russian-speaking men torturing a man by beating him on the limbs with sledgehammers. 100 The attackers’ faces were covered and only part of the footage was visible. Internet commentators at the time claimed the involvement of Wagner employees, but this was never confirmed. The identity and fate of the victims also remain unknown. The family told al-Jessr Press that they last heard from Buta on May 5, 2017, when they received a recorded message from him. According to Arabic-language news reports, Bouta’s relatives learned of his death only a year after a video appeared online in May 2018. 101
It is unclear whether the torture video, allegedly released in June 2017, was the first public appearance of the video. However, in early November 2019, Twitter users from the Open Source Intelligence Research Community (OSINT) began sharing clips from a series of new videos that appeared to show a continuation of Hamdi Bouta’s torture and killing. 102 This included investigative journalist Gazeta from Novaya who first broke the topic and revealed the second part of three video clips (Videos B, C, D) from the crime scene of Bouta’s assassination on November 20, 2019. 103
In November 2019, extended video and images of the event appeared in Vkontakte user profiles, collected and archived by our team. These enhanced videos show all or part of the faces of many of the attackers, revealing a more complete sequence of events. The victim’s face can be seen in the video until his body was dismembered. However, there is no clear indication of where the video may have been filmed, and little is known about the people featured in the video other than the victim. This section describes where and when the incidents revealed by our investigation, as well as what we know about the identities of the victim attackers. We begin by describing what is described in the video and what we know from trying to verify the accuracy of media reports suggesting the incident took place near al-Shaer.
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