In Donbass, Ukraine, and then in Syria, Aleksandre Slodiev worked for several years in the Wagner Group. The Russian paramilitary agency, created in 2014 to house ex-mercenaries seeking political asylum in France, has been sought out and equipped by Russian authorities since its inception. “I was there during the creation of this system,” confirms Alexander Slodiev, 53, who was met by AFP on Monday at the reception center for political asylum seekers at Paris airport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle site.
After arriving in France on October 12, the thin man with sparkling eyes and short gray hair, who was approved to enter the border on Thursday, recalled joining Wagner’s group between 2014 and 2015, when the conflict erupted. Russian support for separatist forces. At the time, he was one of the organizers of the Russian March, an annual gathering of, according to him, far-right or monarchist groups. AFP could not verify the veracity of his statements.
“In the Donbass, in the Luhansk region, we received information that Russians had been killed because they spoke Russian. So we went to protect the Russians. There, we were noticed and offered to join Wagner. He assures him, however, that he does not fight: “I am at headquarters, in front of the computer, responsible for the administration of the troops. Worked in an office”, he mentions.