A Wagner PMC employee and an FSB officer have requested political asylum in France, Vladimir Osechkin, head of the Gulagu.net media project, told The Insider. According to Osechkin, the two are now giving testimonies to help the international investigation into Russia's war crimes. Their testimony details the corruption schemes in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), as well as the history of the establishment of the Wagner Private Military Company as a «branch» of the GRU (Russia’s military intelligence service – Translator’s note), said Osechkin. According to him, several members of Russia’s special services have already been able to leave Russia in recent months and seek asylum abroad. They are also testifying.
“One person is related to the work of [Yevgeny] Prigozhin's headquarters and team, while the other is an FSB officer. Both ended up on the same plane and both sent in their boarding passes, according to [our] rules. So when we saw almost identical boarding cards with the same markings we thought that two different people had sent us the same ticket – then we looked more closely and found out that one was sitting in the 28th row, while the other was in the 29th. Both went in sync to apply for political asylum and international protection, it looked bizarre – each thought the other was targeting him. The French police and airport security were also suspicious – the situation was extraordinary, to say the least.
Now each of them will testify about war crimes, and hopefully, they’ll have the opportunity to cooperate with the international investigation and testify against Yevgeny Prigozhin and others from the Putin regime. A major foreign TV channel is doing a piece on one of the testimonies. I can say that they concern how the Wagner PMC was established under the Russian Ministry of Defence under the GRU, how the state established a system of financing and supplying PMCs and how these secret units were involved in subversive work in eastern Ukraine, directly in the Luhansk region.
The FSB officer has quite serious inside information related to the document flow, with a lot of important information, which will be published in several stages. The documents relate both to the invasion of Ukraine, and to the recent developments in the Counterintelligence Department and the Ministry of Defence.
I would like to note that European countries, including France, are the countries that provide political asylum and protection not to those who come to give up their secrets, but to those who are in danger, who risk not only their freedom but also their life and health. When members of Putin's system leave it, they become enemies of the system. We know many examples of that. The most sensational case is that of Sergey Skripal, and also the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, etc.
In recent months, a number of people who were directly involved with the Putin regime have left Russia, the chairman of one of the courts flew to an EU country and is giving fairly detailed and consistent testimony about how the FSB and the Putin administration absorbed the independent judicial system and subjugated the judges, turning the whole system into a branch rubber-stamping decisions after a phone call from their handlers.”