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Russia. A mercenary of the Wagner Group buried in Waleczne Avenue. A dispute with the authorities of St. Petersburg involved Yevgeny Prigozhin

Russia.  A mercenary of the Wagner Group buried in Waleczne Avenue.  A dispute with the authorities of St. Petersburg involved Yevgeny Prigozhin

Russia. A mercenary of the Wagner Group buried in Waleczne Avenue. A dispute with the authorities of St. Petersburg involved Yevgeny Prigozhin

Yevgeny Prigozhin, recruiting prisoners to participate in the armed aggression in Ukraine, made sure that the mercenary of the Wagner Group, conscripted from the penal colony where he was serving a sentence for drug trafficking, was buried in the alley of Valor at the cemetery in St. Petersburg, independent Russian media reported. The avenue was created after Prigozhin’s sharp conflict with the authorities of St. Petersburg.

The independent Russian portal The Insider wrote that the pro-Kremlin businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, nicknamed “Putin’s cook”, actively supports and finances the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, personally came to the Beloostrovsky cemetery in St. Petersburg, where Dmitry Menshikov was buried on Saturday. The man had previously served a 7.5-year sentence in a penal colony in the Ryazan region for drug trafficking. He became a mercenary of the private military company Wagner Prigozhin Group and went to the Ukrainian front. He died in November in the Luhansk region.

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The Insider reported that Prigozhin appeared at the cemetery two hours before the funeral ceremony, gave an interview to journalists of state media, and left the place without waiting for the burial.

When Prigozhin drove away, a vehicle with more than 20 soldiers parked in front of the gate of the necropolis, who then attended Menshikov’s funeral. In addition to them, the ceremony was also attended by veterans and former military personnel from the Combat Brotherhood organization, as well as members of the youth wing of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party Russia.

Journalists of the Russian section of Radio Svoboda talked to the soldiers at the cemetery. Some of them said that they did not know the deceased Menshikov, some also claimed that they had not heard anything about him.

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Dmitry Menshikov’s funeral at the St. Petersburg cemetery REUTERS

After a conflict with the city authorities

The Insider reminded that the Avenue of Valor was created at the St. Petersburg cemetery after Prigozhin’s sharp conflict with the authorities of St. Petersburg. A pro-Kremlin businessman demanded that a special alley be set aside for the burial of non-professional soldiers participating in the war in Ukrainei.e. the mercenaries recruited by him.

In an open letter addressed to the chairman of the State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament) Vyacheslav Volodin, Prigozhin wrote that “we are dealing with a monstrous bureaucracy on the part of officials from St. Petersburg.” Volodin wrote in response that “the heroes who died for the Fatherland cannot be divided into soldiers, volunteers and mercenaries of private military companies.”

The authorities of St. Petersburg consequently relented in the dispute, and the vice-governor of St. Petersburg, Kirill Polyakov, in charge of the burials, accused Prigozhin of personally “blowing up the scandal”.

Burial place of Dmitry MenshikovREUTERS

After the annexation of Crimea

Mercenaries from the Wagner Group fought, among others, in the Ukrainian one DonbassSyria, as well as in African and Arab countries.

The formation was created in 2014, in Russian annexation of Crimea. Its name refers to the pseudonym of its founder Dmitry Utkin, a former military intelligence officer of Russia’s military intelligence (GRU). Yevgeny Prigozhin, who supports the authorities in the Kremlin, is considered the patron of this structure.

The Insider, Radio Liberty

Main photo source: REUTERS

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