Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman close to the Kremlin, admitted on Monday that he founded the Wagner paramilitary group in 2014 to fight in Ukraine and acknowledged its presence, especially in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, Reuters reported, citing Agerpres.

Evgeny PrigozhinPhoto: Mykhailo Metzel / TASS / Profimedia Images

In a post by his Concord company on the social network, Prigozhin said that he founded a paramilitary formation to send experienced fighters to the Ukrainian Donbas in 2014.

“Then, on May 1, 2014, a group of patriots was born, which was named the Wagner Battalion Tactical Group,” the businessman said in a statement.

For several years, Wagner’s group has been suspected of implementing the Kremlin’s plans in various theaters of war, which Moscow constantly denies.

Many Western countries and Russian mass media accuse Yevgeny Prigozhin of financing Wagner’s group, whose militants have been seen, in particular, in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and the Central African Republic.

Yevgeny Prigozhin was included in the sanctions list of Western countries

In July, “Wagner” mercenaries began recruiting in Russian prisons and looking for volunteers for the Ukrainian war in the countries of Central Asia, amid heavy losses of Moscow’s armed forces during the “special operation” launched by Vladimir Putin on February 24.

The Kremlin has always denied ties to paramilitary groups.

Nicknamed “Putin’s cook” because his companies serve the Kremlin, Prigozhin came under the first package of sanctions announced by the EU on February 23 in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Reports that he began personally visiting Russian prisons to recruit criminals and criminals have surfaced since August, but this is the first time Prigozhin has admitted to being the founder of Wagner’s mercenary group.

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