Russia’s Yevgeny Prigozhin admits owning Wagner mercenary force | Military News

Businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin for the primary time says he’s ‘proud’ of founding Wagner Group staffed by veterans of the Russian armed forces.

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin acknowledged he based the Wagner Group non-public army firm in 2014, the primary public affirmation after he beforehand denied possession and sued journalists for reporting it.

The Wagner Group, staffed by veterans of the Russian armed forces, has fought in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic and Mali, amongst different nations.

The press service of Prigozhin’s Harmony catering agency posted his admission on the social community VKontakte in response to a request for remark from a Russian information web site on why he stopped denying his hyperlinks to Wagner.

“I cleaned the outdated weapons myself, sorted out the bulletproof vests myself and located specialists who may assist me with this. From that second, on Could 1, 2014, a gaggle of patriots was born, which later got here to be known as the Wagner Battalion,” Prigozhin mentioned, who has shut ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I’m proud that I used to be capable of defend their proper to guard the pursuits of their nation.”

‘Putin’s chef’

Prigozhin, generally known as “Putin’s chef” due to his firm’s Kremlin catering contracts, has been sanctioned by america and European Union for his position in Wagner.

Additionally they accuse him of funding a troll farm generally known as the Web Analysis Company that Washington says tried to affect US elections.

Prigozhin has beforehand sued shops together with investigative web site Bellingcat, Russian information web site Meduza, and now-shuttered radio station Echo of Moscow for reporting his hyperlinks to Wagner.

Wagner was based in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and began offering assist to pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine’s jap Donbas area.

In July, the UK’s defence ministry mentioned the Wagner Group had doubtless been given duty for particular sectors of the frontline in war-torn jap Ukraine, in the same method to regular military models.

This new stage of integration between the armed group and the Russian military “additional undermines the Russian authorities’ long-standing coverage of denying hyperlinks between [private military companies] and the Russian state”, it mentioned on the time.

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