Marat Gabidullin has written memoir about fighting for Wagner because Russians should know ‘mercenaries exist’

Marat Gabidullin
Marat Gabidullin says ‘Russia’s achievements in Syria were largely because of the mercenaries’ sacrifices’. Photograph: Egor Slizyak

Gripping his recently finished memoir, In the Same River Twice, the first published account of fighting for the secretive Russian mercenary outfit Wagner, Gabidullin said: “I wrote this because I realised it’s time for our country to face the truth: mercenaries exist.”

At 55, he’s an imposing figure, with his face and muscular arms covered in scars. “We, in Russia, prefer not to discuss our mercenaries,” he added. “It doesn’t fit the official narrative.”

In 2015, Gabidullin, a Russian airborne forces veteran and former bodyguard, joined Wagner, at the time a relatively unknown mercenary group. He was soon deployed to fight in Syria alongside the Russian army supportingPresident Bashar al-Assad, quickly rising to command one of Wagner’s five units there.

Source: ‘Mercenaries have skills armies lack’: former Wagner operative opens up


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