FACTS: Russian mercenaries are involved in conflicts around the world

FACTS: Russian mercenaries are involved in conflicts around the world

Read more about the Wagner group here:

* The Wagner group is described as a network of Russian mercenaries.

* There are various theories as to where the group’s name comes from. Some believe that the leader of the group is known by the name Wagner. However, there is very sparse information about who is in charge of the company.

* Others believe the name Wagner is a cover name for Commander Dmitry Utkin. Utkin is said to be fascinated by Nazi Germany, including composer Richard Wagner, who was one of Adolf Hitler’s favorites. Utkin has not been seen in public since 2016.

* Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigoshin has been linked to the group’s leadership.

* Prigoshin has become one of Russia’s richest men by opening a chain of hot dog shops and subsequently building a food empire.

* He is one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies. He goes by the nickname “Putin’s chef”.

* Prigoshin was among 13 accused Russian nationals in a case of interference in the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

* He has denied any connection to the Wagner group.

* The US government has described the Wagner group as a “deputy force” for the Russian Ministry of Defense.

* The group became famous in 2014 when it assisted the Russian military in the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Since then, the group has been involved in conflicts in Syria, Mozambique and Sudan, among others.

* In Syria, they support President Bashar al-Assad, while in Venezuela they protect President Nicolas Maduro.

Sources: Reuters, BBC, Jyllands-Posten, Foreign Policy.

Source: The Nordic Page

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