Social media reports picked up Russian newspaper articles claiming top Russian officer Vladimir Andonov, 44, has been killed by sniper fire in Kharkiv, Ukraine. He was also known as Vaha or “The Executioner.”
Andonov was from the Siberian republic of Buryatia. His death notice appeared on the Peleng 03 telegram channel.
“He died at night during the reconnaissance of the area, along with his comrade, presumably at the hands of a sniper.” He was described in local news as the “most famous volunteer.”
Vaha, the executioner
As part of Putin’s elite unit, the Wagner Group, Andonov earned the name, The Executioner. The group has been linked to war crimes in Putin’s special operations in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine.
The Executioner participated in all those campaigns. And was awarded a medal for military merit for outstanding service.
In a 2017 interview, he told the Gazeta he was a “shamanist.” And that his prayers in battle would always keep him safe. He claimed his faith was so strong it would always keep him safe from injury.