Image by Жабыш
Russian military action in Syria in November 2015
Six Russian mercenaries from the ‘Wagner Group’, a soldier-for-hire force operated by Yevgeney Prigozhyn, a.k.a. Putin’s Cook, were killed in Syria while reinforcing a Syrian base according to Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The infamous Wagner Group has been in the press often over the last several years. The force suffered massive casualties at the hands of American airpower last year in Syria where hundreds were killed. Wagner has been confirmed in East Ukraine, as well as the Central African Republic (CAR) where several Russian journalists were murdered.
A total of 11 people were reportedly killed in Sunday’s explosion at a former criminal police building on a highway connecting the Syrian capital of Damascus with the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. Novaya Gazeta did not indicate who may have been behind the explosion. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the alleged casualties, reported The Moscow Times.
The Kremlin has used mercenaries in multiple conflict zones around the world to provide plausible deniability for Moscow in its offshore operations. Russian President Putin repeatedly declared there were no Russian forces in the Donbass region of East Ukraine as the conflict raged over the last several years.
A journalist covering Wagner in Africa died in Siberia after falling off a building. Some theorize he was murdered for getting too close to what Wagner was doing in the CAR.
Prigozhin has a flare for operating businesses that take advantage of Russian military operations, and obviously making a lot of money off of it. His nickname ‘Putin’s Cook’ came from his securing contracts to feed the Russian armed forces.