Monday, January 9, 2023

First Convicts to Fight in Ukraine War Freed by Putin Ally, Urged Not to Kill or Rape Again; Inside the Brutal Private Army Run by Putin’s Favorite Petty Criminal Chef; Ukrainian Attack on Left Bank of Dnipro Already Underway; UKR Armed Forces Hit RU Stationing Point Near Crimea, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

RT/east2west news
First convicts to fight in Ukraine war freed by Putin ally, urged not to kill or rape again:
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s most powerful mercenary group, bade farewell on Thursday to former convicts who had served out their contracts in Ukraine and urged them to avoid the temptation to kill when back in civilian life.
Wagner Group, originally staffed by battle-hardened veterans of the Russian armed forces, has fought in Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic and Mali as well as in Ukraine.
After President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, Prigozhin emerged from the shadows and recruited thousands of men from prisons, offering them the chance of freedom in return for serving in some of the most dangerous battles in Ukraine.
Prigozhin, who has been sanctioned by Western countries for his role in Wagner, was shown in footage supplied by RIA state news agency shaking hands with the first group of convicts who had gained their freedom after serving for six months.
“Don’t booze too much, don’t take drugs, don’t rape women – (sex) only for love or for money as they say,” Prigozhin was shown saying to the former convicts, who laughed. “The police should treat you with respect.” --->READ MORE HERE
AP/Misha Japaridze
Inside the brutal private army run by Putin’s favorite petty criminal chef:
Dictators love their paramilitaries. They act as independent centers of power, curbing the risk of military coups by keeping army leadership on their toes. They can be deployed on missions that require plausible deniability. They help obfuscate casualty rates in protracted conflicts that do not go according to plan, such as Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.
Prime example: the “Wagner Group,” led by Vladimir Putin’s personal caterer and confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin. He started his career as a petty criminal in Putin’s home city of Saint Petersburg and even served a prison sentence for robbery and theft during Soviet times, before moving on to the hospitality industry, cooking for state dignitaries and milking government contracts.
The Wagner Group — named after the anti-Semitic German composer — is not exactly a formal paramilitary organization or a “private army.” Rather, it is a sprawling network of mercenaries recruiting veterans as well as Russian convicts with Prigozhin at the top. It can grow larger or smaller on an as-needed basis, while coordinating with the Russian state through loose (and deniable) connections to its security apparatus.
Opaquely funded, the Wagner Group has been actively helping the Assad regime in Syria, where it continued to run into forces of the US-led coalition. Its fighters have been deployed in the Central African Republic, Mozambique and Libya. In Mali, Wagner Group contractors filled the void left by the departure of French-led forces conducting counterterrorist operations. --->READ MORE HERE
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