The head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigojine, said on Friday that a "former general" of the American Marines was part of this private army whose recruits fight in particular in Ukraine.

Responding to a question from the Finnish newspaper

Helsingin Sanomat

, the Russian businessman replied: “There are not many Finnish citizens at Wagner PMC, about 20 people.

For obvious reasons, I cannot provide exact information about them”.

“I have a very good opinion of the Finns on the battlefield.

They are fighting within a British battalion (part of Wagner) which is commanded by an American citizen, a former general in the Marine Corps,” Prigojine added as quoted by the press service of his company Concord.

Wagner and the ambitions of the Kremlin

Yevgeny Prigojine, who was nicknamed "Putin's cook" because of his catering group's contracts with the Kremlin, has the reputation of having become a billionaire thanks to the public contracts he obtained.

It is subject to sanctions from the European Union and the United States.

In September, he revealed for the first time that he founded Wagner in 2014 to fight in Ukraine and acknowledged the presence of the mercenary organization in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

For years Wagner has been suspected of playing a role in furthering the Kremlin's ambitions, including in Ukraine where fighters from the paramilitary group were on the front line during the offensive launched in February.

At the beginning of November, Wagner opened its first HQ in Saint Petersburg, Russia's second city.


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War in Ukraine: Who is Yevgeny Prigojine, the Kremlin henchman?

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