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Putin selects former Prigozhin aide to train Ukrainian volunteers


Russian President Vladimir Putin has selected a former Wagner Group aide to coordinate volunteer soldiers in Ukraine. 

The Kremlin announced the appointment of Andrei Troshev, a former aide to Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a Friday statement.

Putin told Troshev, in remarks released by the Kremlin, that his job is to “deal with forming volunteer units that could perform various combat tasks, primarily in the zone of the special military operation,” a reference to the war in Ukraine.

RUSSIA FORGOES INVESTIGATION INTO PRIGOZHIN CRASH UNDER INTERNATIONAL RULES: REPORT

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, left, attends a meeting with Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, center, and chairman of the League for Protecting Interests of Veterans of Local Wars and Military Conflicts, Andrei Troshev at the Kremlin in Moscow on Sept. 28, 2023. (Photo by MIKHAIL METZEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A former colonel, Troshev has previously served in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Syria with the Russian military

Dmitry Peskov, a high-ranking Kremlin spokesman, told the press that Troshev is currently employed by the Ministry of Defense.

The appointment of the Prigozhin-aligned mercenary shows Russian military officials are working to integrate the Wagner Group into the invasion effort.

NOTORIOUS RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE CHIEF TAPPED TO REPLACE PRIGOZHIN IN WAGNER’S AFRICA OPERATIONS

Prigozhin memorial

A portrait of the owner of private military company Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin lays at an informal memorial next to the former PMC Wagner Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia. Russia’s civil aviation agency says Prigozhin was aboard a plane that crashed north of Moscow. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

Prigozhin, who was reportedly killed last month in a mysterious plane explosion while traveling in Russian airspace, staged a failed challenge to Putin in late June.

The warlord initiated what observers called the most significant challenge to Putin’s regime — but after marching his 25,000-strong mercenary forces to within 125 miles of Moscow, Prigozhin abruptly ended the operation and ordered his troops to return home before heading into exile in Belarus. 

The future of the Wagner Group and its relationship with the Russian government have been a source of speculation since Prigozhin’s apparent death.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Troshev

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, left, attends a meeting with Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, center, and chairman of the League for Protecting Interests of Veterans of Local Wars and Military Conflicts, Andrei Troshev at the Kremlin in Moscow on Sept. 28, 2023. (Photo by MIKHAIL METZEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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The mercenary outfit previously cooperated with the Russian military and trained soldiers in allied Belarus after the June coup.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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