Full dossier on one of the key commanders of the Wagner PMC Alexander Kuznetsov (“Ratibor”)

Russian telegram channels reported that the “legendary commander” of the Wagner PMC was seriously wounded in Soledar. However, there is no photo or name of this fighter in the public domain. The Evocation investigative team was able to figure out who it could be.

“An iconic person for the company.”

The primary source of the information was Sergei Chemekov, a correspondent for RIA FAN, which is controlled by the owner of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin. He accompanied his post with a video from a hospital in occupied Luhansk.

It was filmed by the head of the “Foundation for the Protection of National Values,” Maxim Shugaley. He is known as a “sociologist” and a Russian deputy who was arrested in Libya in 2019. Nearly two years later, he was snatched from prison by Wagner mercenaries. Since then, Shugaley informationally accompanies the activities of the PMC.

From the surgeon’s story in this video, we were able to learn a few facts. A fighter who was admitted to the hospital was seriously wounded in Soledar. The projectile tore off his hand and foot and he lost a lot of blood. It happened around 5 a.m. on January 11. The next day the wounded man was evacuated to Russia.

Prigozhin evacuated Ratibor to St. Petersburg

Evgeny Prigozhin evacuated the wounded “Wagnerians

That same evening, RT propagandist Konstantin Prydybaylo published a photo of Prigozhin aboard an Il-76 transport plane. The plane was transporting six wounded from Anapa to St. Petersburg for prosthetics.

Recall that it is in St. Petersburg there is a medical center “Sogaz”, with which the family of the Kremlin dictator is associated. This is where the wounded “Wagnerites” have been treated and rehabilitated since at least 2016.

“Hero of Russia” who stormed Tripoli

Who is this “legendary commander”, “iconic figure” for the PMC, which is accompanied by Prigozhin personally on the operation? The hints are given to us by the same primary source – the “war correspondent” of Prihzhin’s RIA “FAN”:

“Surgeoner talks about one of the legendary commanders of the Wagner PMC, a hero of Russia, who, according to some reports, distinguished himself during the fighting for the capital of a North African state. This is a very iconic man for the company. He was seriously wounded during the storming of Soledar, but survived and was urgently evacuated, is now undergoing rehabilitation.

The geography of the “work” of the Wagner PMC is quite rich, but the only country that fits the description is Libya. Russian mercenaries have been fighting on the side of Khalifa Haftar there since the fall of 2019. They tried to take control of the capital, Tripoli. In all, about 7,000 Wagnerians went through the Libyan campaign.

Putin and Ratibor

Putin personally awarded the commanders of the Wagner PMC

It would seem that finding the “legendary commander” wounded at Soledar among them would be an almost impossible task. But here the second clue from Chemekov’s post comes to our aid. It is known about the three still alive “Wagnerites” who received the title of “Hero of Russia” and fought in Libya. These are Andrei Troshev, Anton Elizarov and Alexander Kuznetsov.

Andrei Troshev (“Grey”, “Boris Borisovich”, “BB”)

Troshev manages the rear service of Wagner and is sometimes referred to as the company’s “executive director. Former fighters say he was the one who gave the order to storm the oil field near Syria’s Hasham on Feb. 7, 2018. The American army was on the other side, so the Wagnerians lost several hundred fighters in one battle.

But “Gray” clearly could not have been badly wounded in Soledar. After all, he hasn’t taken part in combat operations since the Syrian campaign. Also Troshev is prone to binge drinking, so he prefers to sit deep in the rear and make statements on behalf of the PMC about the progress of its operations. Thus, after the wounding of the aforementioned “legendary commander,” Troshev actively commented on the battles in Soledar.

Anton Yelizarov (“Lotus”)

Gained “fame” after Prigozhin called him commander of the Wagner PMC offensive in Soledar. Then the propagandist Vladimir Solovyov “lit it up”. Yelizarov is a career military officer who served in the 10th Separate Special Forces Brigade, but in 2014 he received three years of probation for fraud. Yelizarov has been a member of the Wagner since at least 2016 , and in 2021 he commanded an assault unit in Libya.

For the first time in public he was noticed last September at the funeral of “Wagner” Alexei Nagin. He arrived at the farewell with Prigozhin. Journalists then noted that both had three “heroic stars” on their chests: of Russia, the “LPR” and the “DPR. But Yelizarov does not fit our description. After all, in the plots of Russian propaganda he appeared after January 11 – the date of the wounding of the same “commander.

Alexander Kuznetsov (Ratibor)

Kuznetsov is also a professional soldier, serving as commander of a special forces company. He went to prison in 2010 for kidnapping and robbery and was released on parole three years later. Already in 2014, Kuznetsov became a mercenary of the “Wagner” PMC with the call sign “Ratibor”.

In mid-December, Solovyov showed Kuznetsov in one of his “stories. Then the propagandist mentioned that this is one of the most honored commanders, who is right now near Bakhmut. Ratibor himself says in the video that he was recently hit by Himars, and before that he was hit by Bayraktar. From all the evidence, we can conclude that he was severely wounded at Soledar.

Ratibor on Solovyov's show

“Ratibor” in the program of the propagandist Solovyov

If our version is correct, why did his associates forget about “Ratibor”? In telegraph channels that cover the “work” of the Wagner PMC, there was a lot of sarcastic comments about “Lotus” – allegedly commanding the “storming of Soledar. Judging by the specific jargon, it can be argued that they were left by current and former “Wagnerites. The main message of these comments is that “the glory for the capture of the city” went to the wrong person.

But it is important to note here that Rospropaganda and Prigozhin personally have elevated the storming of Soledar to a kind of absolute. According to them, this is a “turning point in the Soviet Union,” which will be followed by the rapid “denazification” of all of Ukraine. The public needed to be shown some “hero” responsible for the “great victory. The recidivist “Ratibor” undergoing rehabilitation at the St. Petersburg Medical Center was not suited for this role. After all, the viewer would have recognized in him the former “storm of the brute special forces,” and now – the maimed war criminal Alexander Kuznetsov.

What is known about “Ratibor”

Alexander Sergeyevich Kuznetsov was born on August 10, 1977 in the village of Nikolskoye, Gatchina district of Leningrad region. Graduated from St. Petersburg Higher Combined Arms Command School named after S. M. Kirov. Kuznetsov served in special operations units, his last duty station being GRU special forces (in the military unit 92154, Solnechnogorsk).

Kuznetsov was discharged to the reserve with the rank of major after he kidnapped and robbed a man. In 2010, the court found him guilty and sent him to prison, but he was released on parole three years later. After that began a new chapter in the criminal life of Kuznetsov – he became the commander of the 1st assault group of the PMC “Wagner. As a mercenary, Ratibor participated in combat operations in Syria, Libya and Sudan.


In fact, the first mention of Kuznetsov in the media is dated September 2019. Then he was seriously wounded during the storming of Tripoli. After that, the mercenary was evacuated to Russia, where he underwent rehabilitation in the very same Sogaz medical center. “Ratibor” was awarded four “Orders of Courage. He also received the title of “Hero of Russia” by a closed presidential decree. True, it is still unknown for exactly what episode of his “rich biography.

In December 2021, Alexander Kuznetsov fell under the sanctions of the European Union, along with the other commanders of the PMC “Wagner. He is charged with crimes against peace in Libya. It is also known that Ratibor was responsible for mining and transporting gold from Sudan. Over the past two years, the Wagnerians have sent at least 16 cargo planes loaded with gold to Russia. In addition, in the spring Ratibor was recruiting Hezbollah fighters to participate in the Swah.

The “Ratibor” family

The Kuznetsov family was not so easy to find. After all, the former “grouse” thoroughly cleaned up mentions of himself and his family in search engines and social networks. However, the whole family was eventually exposed by his mother-in-law, Lyudmila Sergeyeva (born March 3, 1949).

Her love of publishing family photos tells us that “Ratibor” is married to Elena Mikhailovna Kuznetsova (Sergeeva). She was born October 27, 1978, graduated from Leningrad State University. Pushkin in 2000, lives in Solnechnonogorsk. They have two children: Sergei, a graduate of the Tyumen Suvorov School and now a medical student, and Xenia, aka Ksyusha. Thanks to them, we managed to find Ratibor’s old Odnoklassniki page and, quite possibly, his current Vkontakte profile.


The information obtained through this material is enough to find the “legendary commander” of the PMC “Wagner” and all his relatives. “Ratibor,” a former GRU special forces man, couldn’t even hide his family from OSINT enthusiasts. And he himself apparently lost a couple of limbs on another “business trip. This says a lot about the “high qualifications” of Russian “specialists. But Kuznetsov’s stupidity will obviously not be a mitigating factor for him at an international tribunal, if he lives to see it.

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