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Prigozhin admits to creating PMC Wagner in 2014

Source: Concord

St. Petersburg businessman Evgeny Prigozhin confirmed that he created PMC Wagner, the mercenary group. He admitted that he created the group in 2014, when, in his words, “the genocide of the Russian population of Donbas began.”

Prigozhin’s statement was published by the press service of Concord, a company associated with him, in response to an inquiry from the editors of the publication “Bloknot.” They asked why the businessman had recently stopped denying his involvement in PMCs.

In response, Prigozhin said that in 2014, he, “like many other businessmen,” went to training ranges, where the “Cossacks” gathered, and “tried to squander money” in order to “recruit a group that would go and protect the Russians.” When he realized that these “Cossacks” didn’t suit him, he decided to form a group on his own.

So I flew to one of the firing ranges and did it myself. I cleaned old weapons myself, sorted out body armor myself, and found specialists who could help me with it. From that moment, on May 1, 2014, a group of patriots was born, which later acquired the name PMC Wagner. It was their bravery and courage that made the liberation of the Luhansk airport and many other territories possible, as well as radically changed the fate of the LNR and DNR.

According to the businessman, the PMC Wagner fighters, who were only able to “fight’ and protect the disadvantaged,” “have always been in a precarious position.” Over the past eight years, he said, “every dog tried to spit its saliva” at the PMC and the businessman himself, while “nosy journalists” were always trying to find the “negative” and “pick at PMC Wagner’s dirty laundry.”

Prigozhin is proud of the fact that “he was able to defend their (PMC members) right to defend the interests of their country. He called the members of the group “heroes,” who defended “the Syrian people and other peoples of Arab countries,” as well as “impoverished Africans and Latin Americans,” and “became one of the pillars of our country.”

Responding to a question from journalists of “Bloknot,” why Prigozhin previously denied any connection with PMCs, but has now stopped, the businessman said:

I have long evaded the blows of many adversaries with one main goal - not to expose these guys, who are the foundation of Russian patriotism. And I have won on this issue in numerous courts, including abroad, because in any case there should always be a place for sport and the matches must be won on the field of the enemy.

Previously, Prigozhin denied his involvment in PMC Wagner and fought many journalists on the issue.

In mid-July, Evgeny Prigozhin responded to a Meduza investigative report about Russian mercenaries fighting in Ukraine by demanding felony charges against Meduza correspondent Liliya Yapparova and editorial director Tatiana Ershova. Prigozhin has also asked the Russian authorities to outlaw Meduza as an “undesirable organization.”

PMC Wagner and Prigozhin are also involved in recruiting prisoners from Russian penal colonies for the war in Ukraine. In September, a video appeared, where a man who resembled the businessman, offered the convicts in Mari El colony to join the PMC Wagner. Prigozhin himself, without directly confirming it, addressed critics of his actions with the words that the war would involve “either the PMCs and convicts, or your children.”

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