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Former Wagner Group fighters visit Russian school, give students flag reading ‘It’s nothing personal — we were paid’

A group of former Wagner Group mercenaries and members of the Russian veterans’ organization Military Brotherhood recently visited a school in the Far Eastern city of Ulan-Ude, according to the outlet People of Baikal. The men reportedly spoke to sixth, eighth, and ninth grade students about Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine for a “patriotic education” class.

The school said on social media that the students watched an “educational film” about the full-scale war in Ukraine and had a Q&A session with the men. The students were reportedly not told the ex-fighters’ names, only their call signs. One of the former Wagner members wore a balaclava throughout the entire lesson, and two others wore masks covering the bottom halves of their faces.

At the end of the lesson, the students posed for a picture with the former Wagner fighters while holding a Wagner Group flag reading “It’s nothing personal — we were paid.” In the photo, one of the fighters made the shaka hand gesture, which has been associated with the mercenary group since its members flashed it in videos of them carrying out brutal murders in Syria.

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