Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s cook” he long denied being associated with this private military company. He sued the media that informed about it, and the Russian courts agreed with him.
According to Radio Swoboda, Prigożyn announced in a press release from one of his companies that he founded a mercenary company in 2014. (when Russia illegally annexed Crimea and started the war in the Ukrainian Donbas – PAP).
Wagner’s mercenaries fought, among others in the Ukrainian Donbas, Syria, African and Arab countries. It is known that during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Wagner’s group he recruits prisoners from Russian penal colonies, offering them to come out from behind bars in exchange for fighting at the front.
The “dogs of war” from the Wagner Group are famous for their brutal actions; according to independent media, they are “dirty work” people in the army, responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and the Central African Republic.
With the help of private armies such as the Wagner group, Russia is operating in white gloves: it tries to increase its influence in various countries, while at the same time maintaining the possibility of negating its presence in a given country.
Prigozhin explained that he had previously denied his ties to the mercenary company in order to “protect its members.”
The businessman tried, inter alia, with the chief of radio Echo of Moscow, Alexei Vieniediktov, and the Meduza portal, he demanded that references to him be removed from publications on the Internet.
The Meduza website reminds that in 2019, The Bell website published materials from a journalistic investigation which indicated Prigozhin’s connections with the Russian authorities. Specifically, The Bell sources claimed that The Wagner group was formed on the initiative of the Russian general staff.
In September, recordings of Prigozhin agitating prisoners in penal colonies to fight in Ukraine appeared in social networks and in the media. The media decided that these “leaks” had to be agreed with Prigożyn. According to some opinions, this “disclosure” may indicate that Prigozhin has political ambitions.
The Wagner group has heavy equipment, artillery and military planes at its disposal – broadcasts Radio Swoboda. It is illegal to set up private armies in Russia. The Kremlin denies its links with the Wagner Group.