Wagner Boss fires verbal shots at US, says Americans fear mercenary group
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group of Russian mercenaries fighting in Ukraine, verbally attacked the United States in an article published Monday.
Speaking to Russian state media RT, Prigozhin criticized the US military, the CIA and the history of conflicts the US has been involved in since World War II. He also claimed that the United States feared his organization, saying “America and Russia are sworn enemies”.
The Wagner Group was an important presence in the war in Ukraine, although Prigozhin often publicly confronted Russian officials over comments he made about their leadership.
More recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who reportedly once viewed Prigozhin as a close ally, reportedly distanced himself from the mercenary leader after Prigozhin claimed that Wagner deserved sole credit for Russia’s success on the battlefield. Ukrainian city of Soledar.
Last week, the White House announced it would label the Wagner Group a “transnational criminal organization.” The announcement angered Prigozhin in his statements to RT.
“The Wagner PMC committed no crimes,” Prigozhin said. “But unlike US paramilitary forces, the Wagner PMC only eliminates enemies of peace and does not commit crimes.”
Prigozhin then listed what he considered historic crimes committed by the United States, including the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan during World War II, as well as the conflicts in countries such as Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
“So if we look at the Wagner PMC [Private Military Company] a criminal organization, then the United States is a powerful crime syndicate, living off money from all over the world,” Prigozhin told RT. “As a result, compared to this crime syndicate, the Wagner PMC is looking more towards the vice squad.”
Prigozhin also claimed that his band of mercenaries “never behaved aggressively” towards Americans and insisted that Wagner had been subjected to “rudeness” by US officials.
Without verified evidence, he said US intelligence officers staged assassination attempts on Wagner members. He further claimed without evidence that his group thwarted the Americans’ aggression and “before they were sent home, we gave them lunch and dinner.”
“That’s why Americans are perplexed: we don’t touch them, but we don’t let them pressure us either,” Prigozhin said. “That’s why they’re so upset. We don’t want what’s theirs, but we won’t give up what’s ours.”
Elsewhere in the RT story, published as an op-ed, Prigozhin said, “America and Russia are sworn enemies, and that’s an established fact, whatever your opinion.”
News Week contacted the US Department of Defense for comment.
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