Yevgeny Prigozhin, one of Russia’s most elusive oligarchs, admitted to being the founder of the private military company known as Wagner in 2014, reversing years of denials about his connection to the mysterious outfit.
Prigozhin is very close to the Kremlin Known as the “chef” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On social media on Monday, Prigozhin released a statement via his company Concord, which began by saying, “Let’s go briefly to the assets.”
In a lengthy and lively statement, he went on to say that the 2014 Russian-backed separatist movements in Donbass in eastern Ukraine were the catalyst for its founding.
Prigozhin claimed that he personally “cleaned old weapons, discovered flak jackets for myself and found specialists who could help me in this matter. From that moment, from May 1, 2014, a group of patriots was born.”
CNN has Wagner Trackers Mercenaries In the Central African Republic, Sudan, Libya, Mozambique, Ukraine and Syria. Over the years they have acquired a particularly horrific reputation and have been linked to numerous human rights abuses.
In 2019, the CNN team gained access to Wagner’s training base in the Central African Republic.
For years, Prigozhin has consistently denied having ties to the Wagner Group. He filed lawsuits against Russian media outlets that investigated him, and belittled the journalists who interrogated him.
In September, videos began appearing on the Internet with a man who appeared to be Prigozhin promising clemency to prisoners for six months of military service, speaking to military leaders.
When asked why he has now stopped denying his involvement with the Wagner group, Prigozhin said: “I have long avoided the blows of many opponents with one main goal – so as not to affect these guys. [fighters]who are the basis of Russian patriotism.
Prigozhin also has On sanctions by the United States For his role in running the Troll Factory, he is accused of trying to undermine the 2016 US presidential election.
Observers say Wagner often acted as an informal arm of Russian foreign policy, even though mercenary activity is technically illegal in Russia.
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