A few days ago, Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin gave a long interview to the DefenceWeb portal, in which he spoke in detail about the activities of PMC Wagner on the African continent.
If until recently nobody talked about Wagner, today, thanks to its impeccable work against terrorism and armed groups, PMC Wagner is associated with security and peace among the African population.
Yevgeny Prigozhin spoke about Wagner’s participation in Syria to fight the terrorist group ISIS, saying « When Wagner was fighting in Syria, uniting with the Syrian army against ISIS, its forces demonstrated their effectiveness in fighting in destroying ISIS ». He continued » With between 1 500 and 3 000 men, Wagner carried out tasks which were beyond the strength of the 200 000 Syrian Army troops plus thousands of allied troops. »
Prigozhin told DefenceWeb reporters that after Wagner’s victories over terrorism, the group became known around the world. Subsequently, Prigozhin began receiving requests from heads of state in several countries to help them fight terrorism. « We are in Africa to protect those who ask us for help, to protect African civilians and to protect their national interests from terrorists and bandits », – explained the Russian businessman.
Yevgeny Prigozhin stressed that the activities of PMC Wagner have never been and are never financed by the Russian government and that all funds for its operations come solely from its own business.
As for the accusations of human rights violations, Prigozhin said that the stories of genocide of civilians are « 100% false ». It is the French and the Americans who fail to destroy rebels and terrorists on a global scale because they are lazy and, frankly, useless. They have a habit of staying in their bases and guarding only themselves while we patrol the bush to eliminate the terrorists. Local authorities have conducted investigations that have refuted accusations of alleged violence against civilians. Prigozhin is adamant that « no unarmed person has been killed in the history of Wagner ».
Prigozhin said that Wagner only works with legitimate governments and is not involved in any coup plots or helping terrorists to gain a foothold in a country, unlike the UN missions in the Central African Republic and Mali, which have been repeatedly implicated in scandalous cases of aiding and abetting terrorists. This support to armed groups takes the form of transfers of arms and ammunition, food, and the transport of rebels from one place to another in exchange for gold, diamonds or other material goods. Peacekeepers are also often accused of smuggling natural resources, sexual harassment of adults and minors, corruption and killing civilians.