Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Moscow [Russia], September 30 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin met with and former Wagner commander Andrey Troshev, who is now already working with the Defence Ministry, CNN reported on Friday citing a statement by Kremlin.

Putin has also assigned Troshev, with the task of forming volunteer units to perform combat missions for Russia in Ukraine.

He said that he wanted to discuss"social guarantees" for anyone who had fought to "defend the fatherland," according to a partial transcript of the meeting.

Putin also referenced a previous meeting with Troshev in which they had talked about the formation of volunteer combat units to fight in Ukraine, CNN reported.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported citing Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov that Troshev "is already working with the defense ministry".

Putin has assigned the former chief of staff, Troshev, with the task of forming volunteer units to perform combat missions for Russia's war in Ukraine, New York Times reported citing a video clip of the Thursday evening meeting that the Kremlin published on Friday.

Without referring to Wagner by name, Putin added that Troshev"fought in such a unit for more than a year" and knows "how it's done."Notably, the Wagner fighters, thousands of whom were recruited from prisons in Russia, operated under a largely independent command until June, when the Defence Ministry moved to integrate them into the broader military, according to New York Times.

The move would have reduced the power of the group's former leader Yevgeny Prigozhin and, analysts believe, helped touch off his failed mutiny against Russia's military leadership.

However, since the mutiny and Prigozhin's death in August, the fate of Wagner has been unclear. Putin signalled as much in his meeting with Troshev, telling him that state-sponsored support measures for veterans of the fight in Ukraine were also available to members of volunteer groups that fought there, New York Times reported.

Troshev is a retired Russian colonel and a founding member and executive director of the Wagner Group, according to sanctions documents published by the European Union and France, according to CNN.

Troshev is a veteran of wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya who uses the call sign"Sedoi," or "Gray-haired." According to European and United Kingdom sanctions documents, he provided "a crucial contribution to Bashar al-Assad's war effort" and "repressed the civilian population in Syria."In June, Putin proposed that Troshev command the private military group in the wake of the failed Wagner rebellion.

Following the failed mutiny, security experts predicted that the Kremlin would seek to further absorb the group into the Russian military.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian officials said Wagner fighters had returned to the eastern front, now working as individuals for the Russian Defense Ministry, CNN reported. (ANI)

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