For quite some time, there have been questions about the inner workings of the Wagner Group, the paramilitary company (PMC) that operates ostensibly as a part of the Russian government giving it built-in deniability. 

Wagner is owned by Evgeny Prigozhin, who is well known as “Putin’s chef.” Prigzhin has built a large organization that hires from the Russian military, trains, and equips its mercenaries on Russian military bases. 

Now, for the first time, some of the inner workings of Wagner, warts and all, have been revealed in a book by Marat Gabidullin entitled In the Same River Twice.

An insider and member of the company, Gabidullin was a former Russian paratrooper who joined Wagner in 2015 as the lowest ranking soldier. He steadily worked his way up until he became a reconnaissance company commander.

Gabidullin writes about Wagner and his experiences inside the company during his time in Syria.

He also sat down for an exclusive interview with Medusa, an independent Russian web publication. In the interview with Liliya Yapparova, Gabidullin pulled back the curtain. He revealed how Prigozhin was unaware of many of the things that were going on inside his own company, and how Wagner’s commander, Dmitry Utkin, ordered his men to commit one of the most heinous acts that have been filmed during the bloody Syrian civil war.

Prigozhin, who was aware of, and asked for copies of the book, told Gabidullin to put off its publication “until the time is right.” The author disagreed stating, “When will the time come? When no one’s interested anymore? When you’ve already turned everything here upside down and you’ve mixed it up so it’s difficult to tell fact from fiction?”

“[Prigozhin] helped me a lot in my life, he provided treatment after my injury — I understand this, but nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to accept what is happening. I think Prigozhin is making a big mistake,” Gabidullin said.