Putin appointed a former head of the Wagner group for the training of military units to be sent to Ukraine.
Andrei Trošhev, former chief of staff of the Russian mercenaries, will be in charge of the task. Kiev denounced this week that members of the paramilitary group returned to Belarus.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Andrei Trošhev, former chief of staff of the Wagner mercenary group, the task of organizing volunteer units for military operations in Ukraine, the Kremlin made known in a statement.
“At the last meeting we talked about the fact that you would deal with the creation of volunteer units capable of fulfilling combat missions first of all, of course, in the area of the special military operation,” Putin told Tróshev at a meeting held on Thursday which was also attended by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkúrov.
Putin emphasized Tróshev’s combat experience, stressing that Tróshev has the knowledge necessary for units to operate effectively.
“He knows the issues that need to be resolved for combat work to run as smoothly and successfully as possible,” he said.
He also insisted that all people involved in combat missions must have the same social guarantees, regardless of their status.
“For the country, for the homeland, it makes no difference what status the person fought in to defend the homeland,” Putin stressed.
Spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ilia Yevlash assured on Wednesday that the Wagner Group mercenaries have returned from Belarus to the occupied areas where they had a presence on the eastern flank, although he assured that they do not pose a major threat.
For his part, the main advisor to the Ukrainian Presidency, Mikhail Podoliak, contradicted the spokesman of the Armed Forces by assuring that “Wagner no longer exists”, since this group of mercenaries “ended with the liquidation” of Prigozhin and Dimitri Utkin, also killed in the aforementioned air crash.
Tróshev, a former colonel of the Russian Army, known by his callsign “Sedói” (gray-haired, in English), is considered one of the founders of the Wagner Group, whose leader Yevgeni Prigozhi, died last August 23 together with other mercenary chiefs, when his plane crashed north of Moscow.
The accident, the causes of which are still unknown, occurred exactly two months after the Wagners staged a mutiny and began a march with armored vehicles towards Moscow to demand the dismissal of the Russian military leadership.
The rebellion was aborted the next day through negotiations mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, after which Putin, who had called it treason, pledged not to take action against the insurgents.
On June 27, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB, formerly KGB) closed the case it had opened for the mercenaries’ rebellion, in the course of which at least thirteen Russian servicemen were killed.