On Thursday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with Andrey Troshev, a former member of the leadership of the mercenary Wagner group, about the creation of volunteer units intended especially for the fight in Ukraine. According to the TASS agency, the Kremlin informed about it. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Troshev works for the Ministry of Defense.
This, according to Reuters, shows that the Russian leadership is trying to signal that it has gained control of the mercenary group that unsuccessfully tried to carry out an armed rebellion in June.
Shortly after that, Putin offered the Wagnerites, who had proven themselves especially in the fights in Ukraine, the opportunity to continue fighting, however, according to the Kommersant newspaper, he indicated that he would like Troshev to lead the group instead of its current leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Prigozhin died in August in a plane crash on the route between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
According to the Kremlin, the Deputy Minister of Defense Yunus-Bek Yevkurov also participated in Thursday’s meeting between Putin and Troshev, also known by the nickname “Grey”.
Putin turned to Troshev, saying that they had previously talked about the fact that he would deal with “the formation of volunteer units that can perform various combat tasks, primarily, of course, in the zone of special military operations.”
Putin likes people who are powerful, but not powerful enough to challenge him. This is how experts describe the qualities that the new leader of the Wagnerites should have. After the death of Prigozhin, they are struggling in Russia, where competition reached out to them, or in Africa.
Moscow calls the Russian invasion of Ukraine a special military operation. Putin recalled that Troshev himself fought in such a unit for more than a year. “You know…how it’s done, you know what problems need to be addressed in advance to make the work on the battlefield go as smoothly and successfully as possible.”
Trošev is a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, in 2016 he received the highest Russian award, the Hero of the Russian Federation, for his operations in Syria. Within Wagner’s group, he acted as its chief of staff.