Dmitry Utkin

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Dmitry Valerievich Utkin (1970–2023) was a Russian far-right activist who co-founded and led the Wagner Group, a private military company known for its far right views and sympathies and having committed various war crimes in several countries across the world.[1][2][3][4][5] Prior to founding the Wagner Group, he served as a Russian army officer within special forces GRU where he held the rank of lieutenant colonel.[6]

Utkin was born in Asbestos, a small village in Russia (which was the Soviet Union at the time). He relocated to another village called Smoline with his mother during his childhood and continued to live there for most of his life.[7][8]

Despite being an important figure regarding the Russo-Ukrainian war due to founding Wagner, he did not make any public appearances after 2016.[9]

Affinity for Nazism[edit]

Utkin was quite a ghastly person in life, reported to be a supporter and admirer of Nazism and Nazi Germany despite original Nazism’s contempt for Slavs.. He was purported to have multiple Nazi tattoos, many with SS insignia.[10][11][12][13][14] Utkin also reportedly referred to himself as “Wagner” as a call sign during his time in the Russian military and named the Wagner Group after Richard Wagner, a German musician with a controversial history of antisemitism whose music was appropriated by various far-right European movements in the 1900s, including the Nazis.[2][15]

According to reports from other members of Wagner, Utkin was a Rodnover, a believer in the Slavic Native Faith.Wikipedia Many pagan symbols have been appropriated by present-day neo-Nazis.[16]


On 23 August 2023, Utkin was alleged to have died in a plane crash on the Tver Oblast along with fellow Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin and other Wagner leaders.[17] After the recovery of their remains and thorough genetic analysis, it was confirmed that the bodies in the crash belonged to them and they were officially pronounced dead.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. Sukhankin, Sergey (18 December 2019). "Russian PMCs in the Syrian Civil War: From Slavonic Corps to Wagner Group and Beyond". Jamestown Foundation. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Wagner, shadowy Russian military group, 'fighting in Libya'" (in ru). BBC. 7 May 2020. 
  3. Rabin, Alexander (4 October 2019). "Diplomacy and Dividends: Who Really Controls the Wagner Grup". Foreign Policy Research Institute. 
  4. Rondeaux, Candace (7 November 2019). "Tracing Wagner's Roots". New America. 
  5. Rondeaux, Candace (7 November 2019). "Forward Operations: From Deir Ezzor to Donbas and Back Again". New America. 
  6. Dettmer, Jamie (7 December 2020). "Mercenary Says Kremlin's Wagner Group Recruiting Inexperienced Fighters". Voice of America. 
  7. Коротков, Денис. ""Хайль Петрович"" (in ru-RU). 
  8. Romaliyskaya, Irina (25 January 2017). "Що дядя Вова скаже, те Діма і зробить". Український слід у долі таємничого ватажка "ПВК Вагнера" (in Ukrainian). Цензор.нет. 
  9. Mackinnon, Amy (2021-07-06). "Russia's Wagner Group Doesn't Actually Exist". Foreign Policy. 
  10. Castner, Brian (1 June 2022). "The White Power Mercenaries Fighting For the Lost Cause Around the World". Time. 
  11. "Signs of Neo-Nazi Ideology Amongst Russian Mercenaries". Res Publica. 26 March 2021. 
  12. Tunis, Samer al-Atrush. "Russia's Wagner mercenaries calls the shots in fight for control of Libya" (in en). The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. 
  13. "The secretive Russian mercenaries 'ordered to kill' Ukraine's president" (in en). 
  14. "Путин принимал в Кремле командира российских наемников. Что о нем известно?" (in ru). 
  15. Ibrahim, Nader; Barabanov, Ilya. "The lost tablet and the secret documents". 
  16. Cornelio, J.; Gauthier, F.; Martikainen, T.; Woodhead, L. (2020). Routledge International Handbook of Religion in Global Society. Routledge International Handbooks. Taylor & Francis. p. 403. ISBN 978-1-317-29500-6. "Members of this organization say that one of its leaders, D. Utkin (call sign Wagner), is a rodnover, native faith believer" 
  17. Helen Livingstone and Pjotr Sauer, Who are the other Wagner group leaders presumed dead in plane crash? The Guardian, 24 August 2023.