“I cleaned the old weapons myself, sorted out the bulletproof vests myself and found specialists who could help me with this. From that moment, on 1 May 2014, a group of patriots was born, which later came to be called the Wagner Battalion,” Prigozhin said.
Wagner has been accused of committing human rights abuses in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Central African Republic, Sudan and Mozambique. The group’s alleged co-founder, Dmitry Utkin, has been linked to the far right and is believed to have named the group after Hitler’s favourite composer. The US and EU have imposed sanctions on Prigozhin and Utkin for their role in Wagner.