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Russian lawmaker thanks Evgeny Prigozhin for sending him a sledgehammer, a reference to Wagner defector’s murder

Sergey Mironov, the chairman of the party A Just Russia, posted a tweet on Friday in which he thanked Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin for sending him a sledgehammer as a gift.

An attached picture shows Mironov holding a sledgehammer with the mercenary group’s logo and a mound of skulls printed on its head. The words “To S. M. Mironov from Wagner PMC [private military company]. Bakhmut — Soledar. 13.01.23” are written on the handle.

A video that surfaced online in November showed a former Wagner mercenary who surrendered to Ukraine and was subsequently traded back to Russia being murdered with a sledgehammer.

At the first meeting of the Russian State Duma’s spring session on January 17, Sergey Mironov called the Wagner Group “heroic” for purportedly capturing the Ukrainian town of Soledar and called for the legalization of private military companies.

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