Vatnik Soup
Soup number222
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Vatnik’s professionSoldier
Vatnik’s country of originRussia and Norway

Yan Petrovsky

In today’s #vatniksoup, I’ll introduce a Russian-Norwegian mercenary, Yan Petrovsky AKA Voislav Torden AKA “Slavyan”. He’s best-known as the co-founder of the Rusich Group, for committing war crimes in Ukraine, and for trying to start a normal life after in Northern Europe.

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Petrovsky lived his childhood in St. Petersburg, but moved to Norway in 2004 when his mother married a Norwegian. After graduating from university, he started working at the “True Metal Tattoo” tattoo parlor, a shop famous for its connections to many neo-Nazi organizations.

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In 2010, the tattoo parlor was raided by the police. During the search, they found forged documents and weapons that belonged to another Russian neo-Nazi, Viacheslav Datsik. Petrovsky spent one month in custody, after which he was released due to lack of evidence.

In 2011, he met another notorious neo-Nazi, Alexey Milchakov, at a paramilitary training camp of the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM). RIM has trained far-right militias around Europe and it’s designed as a terrorist group by both Canada and the US:

In June 2014, Petrovsky and Milchakov found the Rusich Group, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group, which was quickly sent to fight against the Ukrainian army in Donbas, Ukraine.

More about Milchakov here:

The group took part in the ambush of the Ukrainian Aidar Battalion in Sep 2014. Rusich later published a video of Aidar’s leader, Ivan Issyk. Rusich members had carved a neo-Nazi symbol kolovrat to his cheek. Few days later, he was interviewed by pro-Russian propagandist...

..Graham Phillips. At this point, Issyk’s body was covered in burns & he clearly violated journalistic ethics by “interviewing” a seriously wounded prisoner. Issyk was later abducted from the hospital & murdered, after which his organs were cut off and shuffled in his body.

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In 2015, Rusich left the Donbas and Petrovsky returned to Norway. In a video recorded in the same year, both Milchakov and Petrovsky admit to killing Ukrainian prisoners. He allegedly killed 6 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were captured in the battle near Luhansk in 2014.

In 2016, he was arrested at the home of a leading Nordic Resistance Movement (also trained by the Russian Imperial Movement) member Ronny Bårdsen in Norway for violating immigration laws and was deported. Norwegian authorities called him a “threat to the national security”.

He returned to Russia, where he trained Belarusian children combat skills, including proficiency in knife-fighting, tactics, hand-to-hand combat, and shooting.

According to Ukrainian authorities, Petrovsky also later took part in some traditional “viking ritual”.


During 2016, ICC completed their preliminary investigation and opened a criminal case against Milchakov & Petrovsky for their war crimes and “participation in terrorist organization” on Ukrainian soil. In 2022, they were also sanctioned by the US for their “special cruelty”.
Ukrainian Myrotvorets has also suggested that Petrovsky was fighting in Syria in 2017. Based on this report, he fought under a Russian unit that was led by a Norwegian.

He allegedly fought again in Ukraine in 2022, this time in the ranks of PMC Wagner.

On 20 Jul 2023, he was arrested by the Finnish police in the Helsinki-Vantaa airport, shortly before their flight to Nice, France. Earlier, Finnish authorities had given Petrovsky a residence permit under his new name, Voislav Torden. His wife had been accepted to study...

13/20 Image a Finnish polytechnic university. This also allowed Yan & their three kids to get the permit for one year. According to Petrovsky’s lawyer, he wanted his children to “obtain Nordic education”, and they were going to visit their relatives in France before settling down.
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Wagner-connected TG channel “Grey Zone” has complained about the arrest of Petrovsky, and they claimed that he was “abducted by the NATO special forces”. They also organized a crowdfunding effort for Petrovsky’s legal fund, which was accompanied with a message from his wife.
Ironically, the group that’s responsible for torture, abductions and other war crimes and has called for the genocide of Ukrainian people, are suddenly interested in international law.

I have previously written about the “Kremlin kids”, the wealthy children who live a glamorous life in Europe and in the US while their parents threaten these countries with nuclear weapons on Russian media:

It seems Petrovsky and his wife are no exceptions in this sense: the former committed war crimes and killed Ukrainians en masse, and now they want the “Nordic education” for themselves and for their children. He even plans to apply for asylum in Finland.

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These people want the “best” of both worlds - they want to keep their xenophobic, “traditional” Russkiy Mir world view, but they also want the culture and comfort of the West.

And at the moment, it seems that they’re getting it.

There’s plenty of evidence for Petrovsky’s war crimes in Ukraine, and we even have a video recording where he admits this.

For these alleged crimes, he should be extradited to Ukraine and treated fairly as a prisoner of war.

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Thank you to @LauraHuu for helping me with this soup.
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