Russia's soldiers have complained about being disorganized, under-armed, and under-trained since it invaded Ukraine in February.
According to a New York Times investigation, convicted criminals and mercenaries are a type of soldiers that Russia made a lot of mistakes with. Many of those men were recruited by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of the Russian president.
Prigozhin's company has received billions of dollars in government contracts, making him known as "Putin's chef." He admitted in September that he was the founder of the company.
The group is not under the control of the Russian military, but they have become known as the Kremlin's private army. They fought on behalf of Putin and Russia. After Russian troops suffered a lot of losses, Prigozhin went to prisons to recruit more soldiers.
According to the Times, he visited a prison near Moscow in August and recruited a man who was serving 20 years on a murder conviction. In one video that captured Prigozhin's recruiting process, he told inmates that they would be pardoned if they agreed to fight and that they would be shot if they deserted.
After recovering dead bodies, Nuzhin fled and turned himself in to the Ukrainians. In an interview with the Times that took place while he was a prisoner of war in Ukranian, Nuzhin asked what good Putin had done in the time he has been in power. Is he doing anything well?
He thinks the war is Putin's grave.
Nuzhin was going to die soon.
He spoke to Ukrainian media before the Times published his name. He told interviewers that he joined the group in order to leave prison and fight with the Ukrainians.
After being returned to Russian forces in a prisoner swap, he appeared in a video on a Telegram account. A man in camouflage stood over Nuzhin in a video. He says that he was told that he would be judged.
The man has a sledgehammer.
Prigozhin supported the murder on Telegram.
After the video was published, family members were horrified. The son of Nuzhin said that his family was in tears watching the video of his father's murder.
When asked about the video by journalists, a spokesman for Putin said it wasn't their business.