Former Prigozhin aide to oversee volunteer fighters in Ukraine

September 29, 2023

The Kremlin announced Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has tasked Andrei Troshev, former aide of late Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, to oversee volunteer fighter units in Ukraine.

The announcement was made following a meeting between Putin and Troshev during which Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was also present.

According to statement English translations of a released by the Kremlin, Putin tasked Trochev with overseeing “volunteer units that can perform various combat tasks, above all, of course, in the zone of a special military operation,”referring to the war in Ukraine, which began when Russian forces invaded in February 2022.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Russian media that Troshev “now works in the Defense Ministry.”

Former chief of the Wagner PMC mercenary group, Prigozhin was killed a little more than a month ago in a private plane crash outside Moscow.

Once referred to as as “Putin’s Chef” for his close ties to the Russian President and for his role as a caterer to the Kremlin, following public statements of frustration regarding the war in Ukraine and the treatment of his mercenaries, Prigozhin on June 23 led his Wagner mercenaries on a brief uprising against Russian military brass, marching his columns into the Russian city of Rostov near Ukraine’s front lines. Prigozhin said his fighters “blockaded” the town “without firing a single shot.”

The revolt ended the next day, after a deal was struck by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, which stipulated that Prigozhin’s mercenaries would receive immunity, and that charges brought against Prigozhin himself would be dropped, once he turned his columns away from their subsequent march toward Moscow. Before turning back, some 8,000 of Prigozhin’s mercenaries had come within 125 kilometers of the capital city.

Putin offered condolences for Prigozhin’s death but did not go to his funeral. The Kremlin has denied allegations of involvement in the deadly plane crash.

Last month, Putin called on all employees of Wagner and other Russian private military contractors to take an oath of allegiance to the Russian state.

Troshev is known by his alias Sedoi, which means “the one with grey hair.” He is a veteran of Russia’s wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, and reportedly well respected for his service.

He was awarded the Hero of Russia Award for his role in supporting government forces in Syria in 2015 and 2016 as Wagner commander.

PHOTO: Putin with Troshev (far right, with Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov at center)

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