Wagner Chief Denies Claims That He Offered Ukraine Russian Troop Positions

Prigozhin called The Washington Post report 'laughable'

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, dismissed claims made by The Washington Post that he offered Ukraine Russian troop positions in exchange for a Ukrainian withdrawal from Bakhmut, calling the report “laughable.”

“Reading this is of course nice. It means I am not only fighting for Russia but Zelensky is also fulfilling my orders,” Prigozhin said in an audio message on Telegram, according to Moscow Times. “This is laughable.”

The report from the Post cited previously unreported Discord leaks, but the full documents were not published. The report said Prigozhin had contacts with Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, known as HUR, and met with Ukrainian intelligence officials in Africa.

“I can say with confidence, if we’re being serious, that I have not been in Africa at least since the beginning of the conflict, but in fact a few months before the start of the SMO (Special Military Operation),” Prigozhin said.

Moscow also dismissed the reporting, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling it “just another hoax.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was asked by the Post about potential contacts between the HUR and Prigozhin in an interview that was published on Saturday.

Zelensky accused the paper of helping Russia by asking the question and demanded the Post reveal its source for the information, saying discussing such intelligence is treasonous and a “felony” in his country. The Post briefly removed the testy exchange from the interview but later restored it.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.