‘Prigozhin is back’ at Wagner helm as group searches for new mercenary recruits
The military group that was led by brutal mercenary Yevgeny Prigozhin appears to be back on the recruitment drive and this time headed by the dead warlord’s own son.
The notorious Wagner Group built up a reputation for being particularly fierce and carrying out dreadful war crimes. Many of its members were convicted serious criminals who’d been released from jail only on condition they signed up for Wagner.
But Prigozhin – who had been one of Vladimir Putin’s top pals and even his personal chef at one point – fell out of favour with the Kremlin earlier this year after leading a short-lived coup, and he was killed shortly afterwards in what was widely believed to have been an assassination ordered by Mad Vlad.
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Now the Wagner Group appears to be recruiting again, with applicants being told they need Russian passports, suggesting the group will once again be sent overseas to fight.
According to 59.RU, a news outlet based in the Russian city of Perm, the fighters are being led by Pavel Prigozhin, 25.
Posts on Telegram and VKontakte this week said applicants needed to provide details of their families and vaccination documents. But in a break from the past, it also stated they should have no criminal record or history of drug abuse.
Yevgeny Prigozhin had sent tens of thousands of fighters to support Putin’s embarrassing attack on Ukraine, which was meant to be over in a matter of hours but which is now not far away from dragging on for two years.
The Wagner mercenaries were never officially part of the state's military, but they played a key role in the brutal Russia-Ukraine war. It meant Putin’s forces were left exposed when Prigozhin lost faith in the cause and briefly turned his men against the Kremlin.
Following that short-lived coup attempt, speculation was rife that Prigozhin was a dead man walking. Sure enough, he was killed in August when his plane came down over Russia, killing everyone on board.
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