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Putin ally linked to Wagner: ‘Dying West thinks Russians are Third World scum’ | Russia

A Russian businessman and close ally of Vladimir Putin, accused by the US, EU and others of funding private military company Wagner Group, says ‘a dying Western civilisation’ will be defeated by Russia.

The Guardian had approached Yevgeny Prigozhin for his reaction to evidence implicating Wagner fighters in massacres in Mali. In response, he said he had “repeatedly said the Wagner Group didn’t exist” and had “nothing to do with it”.

“You are a dying western civilization that considers Russians, Malians, Central Africans, Cubans, Nicaraguans and many other peoples and countries as third world trash,” the businessman added. “Remember, that’s not true…. You are a pathetic bunch of perverts on the way out, and there are many of us, billions. And the victory will be ours!

Prigozhin said he was “closely following events unfolding in Mali” where “the collective West, namely the United States, Britain, France and other countries trying to pursue a policy of enslavement of Africa, has been implanting and organizing terrorist groups in Mali for years. ”.

This was done, he said, “in order to keep the people of this country in fear, to plunder its natural wealth and to cancel the money allocated to so-called peacekeeping operations”.

Contradicting Prigozhin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov admitted on Sunday that Wagner was operating in Mali and Libya. Lavrov told an Italian TV channel that Wagner was present in the two African countries “on a commercial basis”, but reiterated Moscow’s official position that Wagner “has nothing to do with the Russian state”.

Western officials allege the Kremlin is using Wagner to advance Russian economic and political interests in Africa and elsewhere. The group – also linked to human rights abuses in Syria and Ukraine – is known to have deployed fighters and advisers to more than a dozen countries after it was first identified in 2014 when it supported pro-Russian separatists in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Allegations that the Wagner Group and the Malian army were involved in massacres and other human rights abuses were false, Pirozghin said.

Any terrorist killed by the Malian army, the western collective tried to pass itself off as a civilian… As for the [alleged] atrocities, neither I, nor the men I know, nor the Malian army have committed them.

The businessman also accused the French army of “mercilessly” killing civilians and burying their remains “not far from military bases”.

France deployed troops to Mali in 2012 when Islamists and other insurgents formed a powerful alliance. In February, Emmanuel Macron announced the departure of the troops after a breakdown in relations with the ruling junta.

Last month, the French military said Wagner mercenaries had buried bodies near a Malian military base in order to falsely accuse departing French forces of leaving mass graves behind. The French army said it used a drone to film what appeared to be white soldiers covering bodies with sand near the Gossi base in northern Mali.

Prigozhin, who earned the nickname ‘Putin’s cook’ after winning catering contracts for state banquets, was indicted by the US in 2018 for allegedly funding an online operation to influence elections Americans of 2016. He was also accused of leading systematic efforts to influence opinion through fake social media accounts in Africa, where Facebook has repeatedly deleted accounts allegedly created by agents. of Wagner.

Prigozhin said the Guardian had spread “false, outright lies and… falsification” and tried to “spit in the face of me, Russian patriots and the people of Mali”.

“There’s a saying, ‘Don’t try to pee against the wind, you’ll drown in the splashes.’ These atrocities are committed in your inflamed brain, infected with the disease called “Nazism”.