20.04.2024

Putin offered Wagner chance to keep fighting under ‘Grey Hair’ commander

Vladimir Putin offered Wagner soldiers the chance to continue fighting under a different commander- known by his nom de guerre, ‘Sedoi’ or ‘Grey Hair’.

“Sedoi” is a highly decorated veteran of Russia‘s wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya. He is from St Petersburg, Putin’s home town, and has been pictured with the president.

The Russian president made the offer last month, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant, days after the attempted mutiny led by Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“All of them could have gathered in one place and continued to serve,” Kommersant quoted Putin as saying.

“And nothing would have changed for them. They would have been led by the same person who had been their real commander all that time.”

Putin said that many of the commanders had nodded their heads at his suggestion but Prigozhin, who was sitting at the front, did not see this, Kommersant said.

“‘No, the boys won’t agree with such a decision’,” Putin quoted Prigozhin as saying.

The Independent’s Kate Devlin speaks from Nato summit’s second day

Putin offered Wagner the chance to keep fighting under ‘Grey Hair’ commander

Vladimir Putin offered Wagner soldiers the chance to continue fighting, but under a different commander- known by his nom de guerre, ‘Sedoi’ or ‘Grey Hair’.

“Sedoi” is a highly decorated veteran of Russia‘s wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya. He is from St Petersburg, Putin’s home town, and has been pictured with the president.

The Russian president made the offer last month, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant, days after the attempted mutiny led by Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“All of them could have gathered in one place and continued to serve,” Kommersant quoted Putin as saying.

“And nothing would have changed for them. They would have been led by the same person who had been their real commander all that time.”

Putin said that many of the commanders had nodded their heads at his suggestion but Prigozhin, who was sitting at the front, did not see this, Kommersant said.

“‘No, the boys won’t agree with such a decision’,” Putin quoted Prigozhin as saying.

Russia launches overnight drone attack on Ukrainian president’s hometown

A 56-year-old man was injured in an overnight Russian drone strike on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s hometown, the central city of Kryvyi Rih, the regional governor said on Friday.

The attack damaged a number of buildings in Kryvyi Rih but Ukraine‘s air force said 16 of the 17 Iranian-made Shahed attack drones launched by Russia overnight had been shot down in southern and eastern areas of the country.

Falling debris damaged a municipal enterprise, two residential buildings and a transport company in Kryvyi Rih, regional governor Serhiy Lysak said on the Telegram messaging app.

City mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said windows had been blown out in apartment blocks and private houses, hospitals and schools.

The drone launches were the latest in a series of attacks in which the capital Kyiv came under attack on three successive nights this week. Russia did not comment on the attacks, and denies deliberately targeting civilians.

Prigozhin ‘disagreed’ with offer for Wagner fighters to keep serving, Putin claims

Yevgeny Prigozhin disagreed with Vladimir Putin’s plan for giving fighters of the Wagner group the opportunity to remain serving together in Russia after their revolt, reported Russian daily Kommersant, citing the Russian president.

“Prigozhin … said after listening: ‘No, the boys won’t agree with such a decision,” Kommersant quoted Mr Putin as saying.

Wagner fighters played a key role in the Russian army’s advance into eastern Ukraine and were the driving force in the capture in May of the city of Bakhmut after months of battles.

But Mr Prigozhin constantly accused the military of failing to back his men and Wagner fighters unhappy with the defence ministry’s conduct of the war took control of the southern city of Rostov-on-Don on 23 June and began moving towards Moscow.

They halted their advance the next day after being offered a deal under which they could resettle in Belarus, along with Mr Prigozhin. Any notion of pressing charges against Mr Prigozhin was dropped.

Mr Putin told the newspaper there was no possibility of Wagner remaining in its current form.

“Wagner does not exist,” Mr Putin told Kommersant. “There is no law on private military organisations. It just doesn’t exist.”

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