St. Petersburg clinic owned by Sogaz insurance company, which is managed and partially owned by people associated with Vladimir Putin, treats wounded fighters of Wagner private military company (PMC). Reuters informs about this, citing its sources.
“The medical care of Russian private military specialists wounded abroad, mainly in Syria and Libya, shows that mercenaries receive indirect support from the Russian elite, although the Kremlin has denied that they are fighting at the orders of the Russian authorities,” the report said.
It is reported that the commander of one of the divisions of Wagner PMC Alexandr Kuznetsov, who is being treated at this clinic, confirmed that he was in Libya and said that the Russians there “are fighting international terrorism to protect the interests of Moscow.”
The clinic opened in 2010 in the center of St. Petersburg. This hospital has been offering medical services to Wagner PMC since at least 2016, said a former mercenary who was being treated at the clinic. He said he got there after being seriously injured in Syria. At the same time, another five or six wounded Wagner fighters had been treated there at one time. A clinic employee confirmed that soldiers wounded abroad were being treated there.
Sogaz, under a contract with Russian bodies, insures the life and health of servicemen of the Russian army and the National Guard, as official procurement website states.
Moreover, the treatment of Wagner fighters was free of charge. Under Russian law, medical institutions are required to report to the police if they receive patients with violent injuries, and participation in military conflicts as mercenaries is considered a crime.
The General Director of the clinic Vladislav Baranov refused to talk to reporters.
Baranov is a business partner of one of Putin's daughters, Maria Vorontsova.
A Spokesperson of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov answered the question: “We do not have such information at all.”
Earlier, it was reported that the enrollment in the “Wagner Group” took place in annexed Crimea in February 2019.