The son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, using the surname Chowles, stated in an interview with the high-circulation newspaper “Komsomolskaya Pravda” that he fought in Ukraine as part of the mercenary formation of the Wagner Group. Independent media pose the question: why not in the ranks of the regular Russian army? Pro-Kremlin political scientist Sergei Markov, wanting to confirm Nikolai’s words, published a photo of his alleged military oath. However, the photo shows the son of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
– When I made the decision to participate in the “special military operation in Ukraine” (term of armed invasion, coined by pro-Kremlin propaganda – ed.), I didn’t know how to get there. When it all started, there wasn’t as much information as there is now. So I had to go to my father. I asked how I could contact with the Wagner Group, and he helped me with that,” Nikolai said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
The independent Russian portal Meduza notes that Peskov’s son did not specify why he decided to conclude a contract with the Wagner Group, and not with the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Because of the “nerves”
The 33-year-old son of the president’s spokesman Vladimir Putin, living for some time in the UK and using the surname Chowles, when asked about his “motivation”, said that “he went to fight because he considers it his duty”. According to him, relatives supported his decision. “They asked if I was sure I understood where I was going? I said yes,” said Nikolai.
Peskov’s son also referred to telephone conversation with Dmitry Nizovtsev, an associate of the well-known oppositionist Alexei Navalny, which took place in September last year. Nizovtsev posed as an employee of the command and called Nikolai to report as part of the mobilization ordered by President Putin. Peskov’s son replied that “he will deal with it at a different level.”
In an interview with “Komsomolska Pravda”, Peskov’s son explained that when Navalny’s associate called him, he was already preparing for service. According to him, “he was too nervous at the time”, which is why he replied “in this way”.
Chowles also argued that he joined the Wagner Group under a different name. He didn’t reveal it in case he “needed it again.”
The founder of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, told reporters that Peskov’s son fought at the front as an “artilleryman”.
Sergei Markov publishes a photo
The well-known pro-Kremlin political scientist Sergei Markov, wanting to confirm that “Peskov’s son fought in Ukraine”, published a photo on social media with the caption: “Nikolai Peskov takes the military oath”. “There were witnesses who served in the Wagner Group with Nikolai,” Markov added. Ukrainian media pointed out that the photo published by Markov concerns the son of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and the Ukrainian leader himself is in the background.
“Apparently, Markov was not embarrassed by this,” wrote the focus.ua portal, adding that “propagandists exaggerated with the evidence.”
Markow deleted the entry, but a copy of it has survived.
Son from first marriage
Nikolai is the son of Dmitry Peskov from his first marriage. In 2010-2012 he served in the missile forces. After completing his military service, he worked as a correspondent for the propaganda and pro-Kremlin television Russia Today.
In 2017, the Alexei Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation published an investigative report on Peskov’s son, which showed that Nikolai did not work anywhere, but used luxury cars and private jets. The oppositionist’s associates also claimed that Nikolai spent about a year in a British prison for two robberies.
Komsomolskaya Pravda, meduza.io, Radio Svoboda
Main photo source: kremlin.ru