Ex-Prigozhin aide to oversee Ukraine volunteer fighters: Kremlin

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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has tasked a former aide of late Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin to oversee volunteer fighter units in Ukraine, according to a Kremlin statement on Friday.
“At the last meeting we talked about you overseeing the formation of volunteer units that can carry out various tasks, first and foremost of course in the zone of the special military operation,” Putin was quoted as saying to Andrei Troshev, using Moscow’s name for its offensive in Ukraine.
The meeting, also attended by deputy defence minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, underlined the integration of fighters from the mercenary Wagner Group into Russia’s regular military in the wake of Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny in June.
Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, died with nine other people when a plane flying from Moscow to Saint Petersburg crashed on August 23.
Exactly two months earlier, Prigozhin had openly challenged Russia’s military high command by leading a short-lived mutiny with his fighters that threatened to spiral into civil conflict.
Observers have said this was the most significant challenge to Putin’s rule.
Prigozhin called off the rebellion after apparently striking a deal with the Kremlin through the mediation of Belarus but he faced no criminal prosecution.
Troshev, a retired colonel known by the nickname “Sedoi” (Gray-haired), hails from Putin’s hometown of Saint Petersburg and is a decorated veteran of Kremlin campaigns in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria.
He was one of the leaders of the Wagner Group in Syria, for which the European Union put him on its sanctions list in December 2021.



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