Mhesn Alabdullah’s cousin Hamadi Bouta, a Syrian army deserter, was savagely beaten to death and mutilated on camera by soldiers of the notorious Wagner Group in eastern Syria in 2017. Now his family wants justice.
"No one can build anything on blood. Blood has never been a foundation for any construction. On the contrary, it turns into a swamp in which you drown. Why fight for strangers and kill for strangers?"
Thousands of Syrians have fought as mercenaries in Libya, Azerbaijan, and possibly elsewhere, on both Russia and Turkey’s behalf. Dozens have been killed, and hundreds have come back after their contractual deployments, but none return to the life they left behind.
Where did the notorious Wagner Group come from, and why has Vladimir Putin relied so heavily on Russian mercenaries in the last decade? Ruslan Trad argues it’s because they’re good for business, and they have a proven track record — from Soviet-occupied Afghanistan.
Libya now has a unified national government that resulted from a peaceful transition of power and handover by the two rival governments. Two top U.N. envoys to Libya say they could have hardly imagined this development a year ago when they were serving in the United Nations.