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Vladimir Putin and the Wagner Group – financing from the Russian budget, statement by the Russian leader

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the finances of the head of the Wagner group Yevgeny Prigozhin would be investigated after his rebellion. At the same time, he said that the founder of the organization and his mercenaries received 166 billion rubles (about eight billion zlotys) from Russia over the past year. Previously, the Russian authorities have repeatedly stated that the Wagner group is in no way connected with the state.

Speaking to the soldiers of the Russian army in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin he said he had always respected the fighters of the Wagner group, but the fact was that the organization was “fully funded” from the state budget.

READ ALSO: Lukashenko confirms reports about Prigozhin

He reported that the group had received 86 billion rubles (over four billion zlotys) from the defense ministry Russia in the period from May 2022 to May 2023.

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Vladimir PutinPAP/EPA/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN/POOL

As Putin added, the catering company Prigozhin Concord earned 80 billion rubles (about four billion zlotys) from state contracts for the supply of food to the Russian army. “I hope that no one has stolen anything or, let’s say, stolen less as part of this cooperation, but of course we will investigate all this,” the Russian leader said.

Prigozhin, who was not named by Putin, was unable to immediately comment on the Russian leader’s remarks, Reuters reported.

>> Yevgeny Prigozhin “had powerful allies”. Who are? <<

Earlier this year, the head of the Wagner group said he had always funded his organization but was looking for additional support once it started war in Ukraine.

Lies of the Russian authorities

Previously, the Russian authorities have repeatedly stated that the Wagner group is in no way connected with the state. During the Munich Security Conference, the President of France Emmanuel Macron accused Putin of lying about it. “A year ago I spoke with Putin and he assured me that Russia has nothing to do with the Wagner group,” Macron said. Last May, after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that “the Wagner group is a private military company that has nothing to do with the Russian state.”

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN/POOL



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