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Wagner’s leader appears in a bomber over Ukraine



(Moscow) The boss of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigojine, appeared on Monday aboard what he presented as a Su-24 bomber returning from a bombardment on Bakhmout, the epicenter of the fighting in the east of Ukraine.

In a video, the sulphurous businessman turned warlord is equipped with a helmet and a pilot’s mask, while a night landscape can be seen through the window as the aircraft lands.

“We landed, we bombed Bakhmout,” said Mr. Prigojine in this short video broadcast on Telegram by his press service.

Yevgeny Prigojine also challenged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying he would board a MiG-29 fighter on Tuesday. “If you want, we will meet in heaven. If your device takes over, you recover (Bakhmout), otherwise we will go to the Dnipro (river), ”he assures.

This video is broadcast the day the Ukrainian Parliament passed a resolution describing the Wagner group as a “terrorist organization”, whose mercenaries fight on the front line alongside the Russian army.

“We are preparing to destroy Wagner as a component of international terrorism,” Ukrainian presidential administration chief Andriy Yermak said on Telegram.

Ukrainian deputies “also adopted a request to international organizations and parliaments regarding the recognition of Russian private military companies as terrorist organizations,” said David Arakhamia, head of the presidential faction in parliament.

Wagner’s men are notably on the offensive in Bakhmout, which Moscow has been trying to take since the summer, at the cost of heavy losses on both sides and great destruction.

The Ukrainian defense there has been weakened since recent Russian territorial gains, including in particular the town of Soledar further north.

Mr. Zelensky acknowledged on Saturday that the situation “is getting more complicated” for the Ukrainians on several points on the front, and in particular in Bakhmout. Mr. Prigojine told him on Sunday of “fierce fighting” for each street.

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