Moscow, Sep 29 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Andrei Troshev, the former chief of staff of the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), to organize and lead volunteer combat units in Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Friday.
“Last time we met, we discussed that you would focus on creating volunteer units which will fulfil various combat missions, primarily, of course, in the zone of the special military operation,” Putin told Troshev in a meeting, also attended by deputy defense minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
Putin praised Troshev’s previous combat experience and expressed confidence in his ability to assemble and lead such combat units effectively in the war zones.
“You fought in one of such units yourself for over a year. You know what it is like, how to do it, and what issues should be addressed in advance to ensure the best possible and the most successful fulfilment of combat missions,” President Putin told Troshev, best known by his nickname “Sedoi,” which means “Gray haired.”
Putin underscored his commitment to providing equal social support to all participants in the volunteer units, regardless of their status.
“Social guarantees must be absolutely the same for everyone who took part or is taking part in combat missions, regardless of their status,” he said.
Troshev, a retired colonel of the Russian army with extensive combat experience in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Syria, is widely recognized as one of the founders and most experienced veterans of the Wagner mercenary group.
Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed with his nine other commanders in a plane crash near Moscow on Aug. 23.
The crash, whose cause remains unknown, occurred two months after the group initiated a short-lived mutiny and embarked on a march with armored vehicles toward Moscow, demanding the removal of the Russian military leadership.
However, the rebellion was swiftly resolved the following day through negotiations mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Following the talks, Putin, who had initially dubbed the Wagner activities treason, pledged not to take any punitive measures against the group.
On Jun. 27, Russia’s federal security service closed the case it had opened regarding the mercenary rebellion, during which at least thirteen Russian soldiers lost their lives. EFE