Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted Monday to creating the private military company Wagner Group.
In a comment published by the press service of his company Concord Management and Consulting on Russia’s VK social network, Prigozhin disclosed the history of Wagner.
According to him, in 2014, he was trying to organize resistance to the Ukrainian military in Crimea and had to deal with a lot of cheaters who “were hiring volunteers and then sent them naked and barefoot to certain death.”
Prigozhin said that seeing this mess, he decided to take the organization into his own hands and found specialists who helped him put in orders for weapons and military equipment.
“From that moment, on May 1, 2014, a group of patriots appeared which later was named PMC Wagner,” he said.
Prigozhin slammed journalists and other curious people for “trying to find negatives” in Wagner’s activities and that many tried to attribute to the group crimes it did not commit.
He praised Wagner’s employees as “fighters for justice” who defended Arab, African and Latin American people and did not respond to questions about his affiliation to Wagner “to protect its fighters.”
“But now, the time of revelation has come. Please do not confuse it with the judgment day,” he said.
Wagner is an unofficial armed formation often referred to in the media as a Russian private military company, which reportedly has operated in Ukraine and then in Syria since 2014.
In June 2017, PMC Wagner was included on the US sanctions list as “Ukrainian separatists.” On March 8, 2022, after Russia started its “special military operation” in Ukraine, Japan also imposed sanctions against the group.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, asked about Wagner’s link to Russia, said: “I have already made it clear that the Russian state has nothing to do with this (PMC Wagner). I am saying this quite responsibly without any hidden agenda. Local authorities invite them at the state level, thank them for their work.”