The first mercenary of the private military company Redut, which was formed from the employees of the Russian gas giant, Gazprom, was captured by the Ukrainian military. A video of his interrogation was published on the Telegram Channel Operational ZSU.
In the video, a native of Orenburg said that before being sent to Ukraine, he worked at Gazprom as a senior security guard.
“Gazprom has created a division called Potok. Potok was handed over to the Redut PMC," the prisoner explained during interrogation.
He added that, in addition to Potok, Gazprom created two more divisions - Fakel and Plamya, which were transferred directly to the Russian Defense Ministry.
As for the circumstances of his surrender, the mercenary notes that his colleagues abandoned him during the evacuation after he was wounded.
"I was on the positions. Mortar shelling began. I was hurt, asked for evacuation. I was bandaged. At seven o'clock in the evening they began to evacuate. Two people were carrying me. Then, they left me in the field. They left, but never came back for me. For four days I crawled through the forest, looking for where to go out. And so, I came to you," he told the Ukrainian servicemen.
A video also appeared on social networks in which a fighter of the Wagner PMC complains that Gazprom mercenaries fled, abandoning their positions near Bakhmut and exposing the flanks of the Wagner.
"The neighbors who were on our flanks, the so-called Potok, the Gazprom PMC, which our director [Prigozhin] spoke about, completely abandoned their positions at night, threw away their weapons and fled. From there just like pissed creatures. We have to close the holes on our own," said the Wagner mercenary.
Earlier, the founder of the Wagner Group PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that Gazprom had created its own private military company "in order to dilute the Wagner PMC. Each creature has a pair."
In the video, Prigozhin talks, allegedly, with mercenaries of the Potok PMC. They discuss problems with communications, weapons, and uniforms. Some mercenaries said that when they signed the contract, they thought they were going to guard the plant in Luhansk. On February 4, the Russian prime minister signed a decree allowing Gazprom Neft to create a private security organization.
In the same video Prigozhin mentions another PMC - "Bokarev". This is likely a PMC created by a Russian billionaire, number 47 in the Russian Forbes rating, Andrei Bokarev, co-owner of Transmashholding and Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company, the largest engineering and mining companies in Russia.
"Prigozhin confirmed the assumptions of Ukrainian intelligence that Gazprom has created its own PMC. And Ukrainian intelligence said that in terms of numbers, Gazprom's PMCs might even, surpass the Wagner PMC, and in terms of salaries, this is unequivocal, because Gazprom is a symbol of Russian government capitalism. And in Russian state capitalism, top managers are paid a lot. We don't know much, but Prigozhin, in fact, as the first person who has any information, confirmed that the largest Russian company is directly involved in the conflict," journalist Maksim Tovkaylo told the news website the Current Time.
In his opinion, Gazprom has created a private mini army because it is concerned about the future when Putin is be forced to leave and the fight for power in Russia starts.