Ukraine strikes Wagner HQ after Russian propagandist accidentally reveals location – VID
Ukraine: Russian mercenary HQ in Donbas destroyed
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Footage of the aftermath of the site, located in Popasna just over 100km west of Luhansk in the Donbas region, appears to show Russian soldiers loading a wounded member of the Wagner squad into a medical vehicle, before a wider shot portrays the debris and ruins following the shelling. It was reported by Ukrainian forces that US-supplied HIMARS, which are long-range, highly accurate missile systems, were used to destroy the area.
Ukrainian forces were able to locate the site after Sergei Sreda, a Russian war reporter, posted pictures online on Telegram while visiting the soldiers.
He uploaded a photo with a man who appeared to be Yevgeny Prigozhin, the oligarch nicknamed ‘Putin’s chef’ and who is believed to run the mercenary group.
In the corner of one photo, the address of a nearby bomb shelter could be made out on a white brick, which allowed Ukrainian forces to geolcate the area.
Russian telegram channels with links to Wagner confirmed the headquarters had been struck on Sunday, and Mr Sreda’s posts have since been taken down.
While the existence of the Wagner group has been repeatedly denied by Russian authorities, it is believed to be an army-for-hire that answers directly to Vladimir Putin.
It is alleged that they have bases across the world and are used when Putin is seeking to establish a military presence without attracting global attention.
The group is thought to be operating in Africa, the Middle East and South America, where allegations of war crimes, rape and torture by its troops are common.
Soldiers for Wagner are recruited from the Russian military, though those called up have often been discharged for poor conduct.
Prigozhin is believed to personally recruit for Wagner, the outfit which many allege he runs himself, and it has been reported that he sometimes goes into prisons to find new soldiers.
Unconcerned with moral character, Prigozhin, himself apparently a former inmate, offers convicted murderers mercy if they are fight for six months on the front lines.
He denies any involvement with the group but is believed to have been on a recruiting spree for the conflict in Ukraine.
He reportedly told inmates at one compound: “I was jailed, too. Now I am a Hero of Russia. We need your skills.”
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Speaking on whether Prigoozhin was in Popasna during the shelling, a source from the city, though not related to Wagner, told VCHK-OGPU Telegram channel: “He is alive, even swearing.”
It reported with verification that he was being evacuated to Burdenko hospital in Moscow.
A source close to Wagner denied he had been killed.They said: “This is not the first time they have buried him,” adding that earlier Ukrainian reports had wrongly reported his death in previous incidents.
Prigozhin rose to prominence in Russia after throwing lavish meals for Putin, and was last month awarded the nation’s highest honour by the President. In Soviet times, he was jailed for robbery, fraud, and involving teenagers in crime.
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