“Putin’s Chef”, wealthy oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, the up-until-now only rumored chief of the most atrocious, dreaded private mercenary army, the Wagner Group, opened up.
He admitted he is the founder and leader of the troops who are doing much of the Russian tyrant’s dirtiest work around the globe.
‘Distinguished Record’ of Atrocities in Ukraine, Middle East, and Africa
The Wagner Group first became known after Putin’s first, “partial” invasion of Ukraine back in 2014. This saw Russians snatch the Crimean Peninsula and much of the Donbas region from the Ukrainians.
The shadowy mercenary army has since then fought in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic, before once again taking the center stage in Ukraine in 2022, amid Putin’s miserably failing invasion.
The Wagner Group fighters, at least some of whom are known for being open neo-Nazis, have a record of extreme brutality against enemy combatants and civilians alike in any country where they have set foot.
The Wagner Group is also known to be a full-fledged military force, with its own tanks, artillery, fighter jets, and other weapons systems.
Regardless of their capabilities, the Wagner fighters have already taken a heavy toll in the war in Ukraine, with an estimated 10,000-15,000 of them killed in battle already.
Besides that, in 2018, Wagner was involved in probably the only direct clash between Russian and American forces, in Syria. The US military wiped out between 200 and 600 of them in precision strikes after its local allies got attacked by mercenaries on the ground.
“I did it myself,” Prigozhin said after long denying any associations with the mercenary group. https://t.co/VkzmIGPMMN
— The Moscow Times (@MoscowTimes) September 26, 2022
Russia's Prigozhin Admits Link to Wagner Mercenaries for First Time https://t.co/4dxBymjF4G
— Voice of America (@VOANews) September 26, 2022
Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin confirms he founded mercenary group Wagner in a statement his company posted on social media, after years of denying any connection to private military contractor
— Bloomberg (@business) September 26, 2022
‘2.5 Times Worse Than Battle of Stalingrad’
For the first time now, Putin crony and murder convict Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted he founded the Wagner Group. The admission was made in a bizarre statement published by his catering firm “Concord” on the Russian social media platform VKontakte, a Facebook copycat.
In his catering firm statement online, the oligarch – a term used in Russia to refer to rich regime cronies – revealed he set up the mercenary army on May 1, 2014. Prigozhin said he was “proud” of this achievement and the group has been able to defend “interests of the country.”
He also bragged that he personally “cleaned” up the old weapons and bulletproof vests the mercenaries had at first and later “found specialists” to maintain their arsenal.
The revelation comes after a recent video was leaked online in which Prigozhin, a former inmate himself, is seen recruiting Russian prisoners to join the Wagner Group as cannon fodder for Putin’s war in Ukraine.
The Putin crony was addressing several hundred men, telling them their records would be expunged if they serve for six months in the Ukraine war. He admitted to having lost 15% of his men in the war so far, a figure that many observers believe was an understatement.
He also revealed his forces in Ukraine are spending ammunition at a rate 2.5 faster than the spending rate of the Soviet military fighting the Nazis in the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II from 1942-1943.
Prigozhin continues leaking videos of him in commander-in-chief role (on this one, doing that 3 am meeting your commanders thing.
Wagnerites tell me they'd vote for him over Putin any time, and it seems to me he smells blood. pic.twitter.com/8pvIbmMgQt
— Christo Grozev (@christogrozev) September 22, 2022
These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of Sept. 26, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/mZ2VhzvGHt
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) September 26, 2022
This article appeared in BeyondNews and has been published here with permission.