A group of Russian forces known as the Wagner Group were last night accused of opening fire and shooting innocent civilians attempting to flee their town.

The infamous division known as the Wagner Group are a team of mercenaries formed by Vladimir Putin and have been known to operate as “death squads” in intense street fighting in Ukraine.

The group has been used in conflicts, from Syria to central Africa, as a resource of Russian military and is associated with atrocities and alleged war crimes over their countless violent attacks.

Last night they reportedly opened a brutal attack in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

Having joined the Russian force in Donbas, the Wagner Group launched attacks on the city of Popasna in order to oppose the Ukraine defence.

The attacks were reportedly so aggressive that local officials drew parallels with the siege of Mariupol, from which all women, children and pensioners managed to finally escape last night.

Recent drone footage was captured from about Popasna, in the West Luhansk region, which shows a scene of complete devastation for the town.

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The area has 50,000 residents and the drone footage depicts a 22 minute video where Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are firing and hurling grenades at each other from neighbouring houses.

The distressing clip ends with six Ukrainian defenders being captures and forced to lie face down on the ground.

Serhiy Haidai, the head of the Luhansk military administration described the awful situation in Popasna and said: “That’s where they threw the largest number of hardware and personnel, Wagner fighters. That’s where the largest number of missile attacks, air strikes is launched.”

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He also said during the attack civilians fleeing blackouts and water shortages were attacked, including 35 people on a bus. Another brutal attack saw a 15-year-old girl having to take the wheel of a car when the driver was badly injured by gunfire as the sped away from the area.

Speaking from a hospital bed, the teenager, called Liliya, described veering across the road to avoid landmines and dead bodies. When the firing resumed, she was shot in the legs, yet managed to drive the car to safety.

‘We were driving and it turned out that the Russians were firing at us. Two men were injured, one very badly,’ the teenager claimed. ‘I had to get behind the wheel and take them to [the nearby city of] Bakhmut.”

Fears of heavier bombardment are heightened as Russia plan to celebrate their Victory Parade tomorrow.

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