01 Feb 2023 - 06:18:53
|Russia, Ukraine: How the Wagner Mercenary Group Became Mainstream Media
President VladimirSLOTXOPutin traveled to the south of the country to award medals to soldiers and officers who fought in the Ukrainian war, including Icom Gasparyan, a Wagner mercenary.
For many years, Wagner, a Russian mercenary group founded by businessman Yevgeny Prygoshin, did not catch the attention of the general public and the mainstream media. The Russian leadership has not even acknowledged its existence.
But after Russia began to invade Ukraine. The Wagner clan was increasingly played by some warriors. Including a former prisoner in Russia. Received the Russian Noble Medal of Valor.
On the last day of 2022, President Vladimir Putin traveled to the south of the country to award medals to soldiers and officers who fought in the Ukraine war. There was a bearded young man who wore a different military uniform. This is one of the many styles worn by Russian mercenaries.
1 in 40,000
The young man, known as Icom Gasparyan, was a martial arts enthusiast who was arrested in October 2019 for attempting to rob a cafe in Moscow. and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
But in December, a video appeared on Telegram about Wagner in which Gasparyan said he had been out of prison and was fighting in Ukraine.
He is one of 40,000 former prisoners estimated by the United States to be sent to fight in Ukraine. They went to fight alongside 10,000 other soldiers hired by the Wagner clan. The Washington Post said the figure was in line with figures by the rights group "Russia Behind Bars" that track prisoner participation in the war.