Former Wagner commander Azamat Uldarov, who publicly confessed to committing war crimes in Ukraine, was detained and threatened in Saratov Oblast, Russian independent media Meduza reported on April 24.
Authorities took Uldarov in for questioning where he was met at the investigative department by four Wagner mercenaries who physically assaulted him and threatened him for his testimony, Meduza wrote.
Russian opposition media Gulagu.net published a video on April 17 where Uldarov and Alexey Savichev, both ex-prisoners, confessed to war crimes they'd committed in Bakhmut as part of the Wagner mercenary group.
In the interview with Gulagu.net, Uldarov said that they had received orders from Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin himself to "clean up" in Soledar and Bakhmut, meaning to kill everyone in sight.
Savichev admitted to throwing around 30 grenades into a pit with 50-60 wounded Ukrainian POWs and Wagner deserters, adding that he "would rather have fulfilled the order and go warm up because it was very cold."
Uldarov also admitted to killing several hundred Ukrainian civilians sheltering in a basement, as well as a screaming girl who was apparently no more than five- or six-years-old.
Savichev later told Russian independent outlet Vertska that his confession about murdering dozens of Ukrainian civilians, including children, was "only 10%" of what he could share.
"I only told 10% of what could be told. And for this 10%, I am now hiding, running like a rat across Russia," Savichev said.
According to Meduza, Gulagu.net founder Vladimir Osechkin called for "comprehensive measures of state protection" to be taken Uldarov following news of his assault and for Prigozhin and Wagner mercenaries to be persecuted in connection with the threats.
Prigozhin responded on April 18 to Savichev and Uldarov's accounts, calling them "a blatant lie," adding that Wagner "has never touched and does not touch" children.
He also said that people "spreading lies" about Wagner were the enemy and that they would be dealt with "in a special way."
Wagner mercenaries have been fighting alongside the regular Russian military in its attempt to take control of Donetsk Oblast. However, despite Bakhmut being the epicenter of heavy fighting for the past nine months, Ukraine still continues to hold the city.