Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin on Monday published his first recruitment video for the Wagner Group since organizing a short-lived mutiny against defense officials in Russia, according to information on Russian social media channels.
Prigozhin moved into the global spotlight in June with a dramatic, short-lived rebellion that posed the most serious threat to President Vladimir Putin of the Russian leader’s 23-year rule. The Wagner founder long benefited from Putin’s powerful patronage, including while he built a private army that fought for Russian interests abroad and participated in some of the deadliest battles of the war in Ukraine.
In the video, which was posted on Telegram messaging app channels which are believed to be affiliated with Prigozhin, a person who appears to be the 62-year-old mercenary leader says the Wagner Group is conducting reconnaissance and search activities, and “making Russia even greater on all continents, and Africa even more free.”
“We are hiring real strongmen and continuing to fulfill the tasks which were set and which we promised to handle,” the speaker in the video says, toting an assault rifle and wearing military fatigues. Pickup trucks and other people dressed in fatigues are in the background.