The press service of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner PMC, released a video showing the interrogation of Roman Venevitin, a lieutenant colonel and commander of the 72nd Motorized Rifle Brigade, by the Wagnerites.
The video depicts a man with a nose bridge injury standing in a semi-basement. He confesses to giving orders to disarm Wagner's quick response team and firing at the mercenaries' “Ural” truck while under the influence of alcohol. Venevitin claims he did it due to personal animosity, and when asked to describe his actions, he admits his guilt by saying “guilty as charged”.
Updated: The Insider was able to confirm the identity of the man in the video. Roman Gennadyevich Venevitin, born in 1978, is indeed a military serviceman who had graduated from the military academy.
Before this incident, the press service of Yevgeny Prigozhin released a report stating that the “Wagnerites” were involved in a shootout with Russian Ministry of Defense servicemen near the village of Semigorye (Semyhirya), situated close to Bakhmut.
According to the document, the incident took place on May 17. The document states that the mercenaries from the Wagner PMC discovered that the military had mined their escape routes. When the “Wagnerites” attempted to clear the road, they were unexpectedly fired upon by Russian troops positioned in the area. During a short-lived battle, the Ural truck mentioned by Venevitin sustained damage, and the mercenaries took action to “counter the aggression” and apprehend the soldiers from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
A recent social media post circulated an appeal made by the troopers from the Storm detachment belonging to the 72nd motorized rifle brigade. In the appeal, they claimed that their brigade commander, Roman Venevitin, had threatened to shoot their detachment commander after they retreated from positions. These positions were assigned to them without adequate artillery support and communication with the higher command. The soldiers also mentioned encountering roadblocks comprised of Wagner PMC mercenaries along their route.
Prigozhin first reported on June 2 that the Russian Ministry of Defense had mined escape routes from Bakhmut for the “Wagnerites.” According to his statement, they discovered approximately “a dozen locations” where anti-tank mines and a significant amount of plastic explosives were laid.