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Russia. Vladimir Putin is looking for a successor to Yevgeny Prigozhin

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In an interview with a journalist from the Kommersant newspaper, President Vladimir Putin mentioned the name of a potential deputy head of the Wagner Group mercenary formation, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is to remain “faithful” to the authorities in the Kremlin. He is the Hero of Russia, retired colonel Andrei Troshev, nickname “Siedoj” (Grey).

Troszew’s surname, actually – pseudonym “Siedoj” – Vladimir Putin he mentioned during a conversation with journalists on the occasion of Thursday’s visit to the International Trade Center in Moscow. The Russian leader told a journalist of the Kommersant newspaper that he had offered the Wagner Group mercenaries several “employment” opportunities, including under the direction of their immediate commander. Putin mentioned his nickname “Siedoy” (Grey).

“It’s about a man under whose command the mercenaries of the Wagner Group have served for the last 16 months” – specified “Kommersant”.

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The pseudonym “Siedoy” is used by retired Russian colonel Andrei Troshev. He is one of the key commanders of the Wagner Group, with the title of Hero Russiathrough which the mercenary formation cooperated with the Ministry of Defence Sergey Shoigu. “It is he, according to the president’s words, who will become the new head of the part of the Wagner Group that will remain on Russian territory,” the Russian media company RTVI reported.

Andrei Troshev in the Kremlin. Photo from December 2016 Reuters

RTVI published the profile of 61-year-old Troszew, born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), reminding that the nickname “Siedoj” dates back to the times when Troszew fought in Syria within the Wagner Group. He was retired by then. Previously, Troszew served in a special rapid response unit (SOBR) as part of the National Guard and OMON. Veteran wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, twice honored with the Order of the Red Star.

Independent Russian media previously reported that Troshev received the highest title – Hero of Russia – on the basis of Putin’s secret decree of March 17, 2016. He was honored with it for “courage and heroism shown while performing a special task”. The Fontanka portal wrote that the officer received a reward for capturing the Syrian Palmyra.

Mercenaries of the Wagner Group in Rostov-on-DonReuters

Signatures on documents

Before the meeting with Putin, which took place after the armed rebellion of Yevgeny Prigozhin, On which the fate of the Wagner Group was decided, Troszew was mentioned as the chairman of the board of the League for the protection of interests of veterans of local wars and armed conflicts, which had its seat in St. Petersburg. After the meeting in the Kremlin, he left this position, RTVI reported.

According to the documentation of the mercenary formation, Troszew was a member of the special department of the security service of the Wagner Group. He was responsible for “maintaining the secrecy regime, personnel, financial and information security.”

Russian media reminded that Troshev’s signature appeared on many documents distributed by the press service of Yevgeny Prigozhin. They concerned, among others, the appeal for Russians to join the ranks of the Wagnerians fighting in Ukraine.

According to “Kommersant”, Putin’s proposal on “Sedoy” was made in the presence of Yevgeny Prigozhin, who supposedly replied to the president that the Wagnerians “would not agree with it”.

Yevgeny Prigozhin (pictured in the middle) YULIA MOROZOVA / Reuters / Forum

CNN: split in Wagnerian ranks

According to the American television station CNN, referring to reports by “Kommersant”, Putin led to a split between the commanders of the Wagner Group and its head Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The station reminded that Troszew was sanctioned by the European Union for supporting the Syrian regime.

Ukraine imposed sanctions on Troshev after the outbreak of an armed invasion in February 2023.

Meanwhile, the fate of Yevgeny Prigozhin remains unclear.

Some of the Wagnerians who in June took up arms against Sergei Shoigu’s defense ministry left for Belarus. On Friday, the Ministry of Defense in Minsk informed about trainings conducted by mercenaries of the Wagner Group near Osipowicze in the Mogilev region.

Wagnerians in the role "instructors".  They train Belarusian soldiers

Wagnerians as “instructors”. They train Belarusian soldiers Ministry of Defense of Belarus/Telegram

Kommersant, CNN, RTVI, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Reuters

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