Russian President Vladimir Putin was shown in a meeting with former commander Andrei Troshev of the Wagner mercenary group, discussing the use of “volunteer units” in the Ukraine war. The meeting aimed to demonstrate that the Russian state now had control over the group following a failed mutiny by its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in June, who was subsequently killed in a plane crash. The meeting, which took place at the Kremlin, was also attended by Deputy Defence Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. Putin emphasized the importance of volunteer units in combat tasks and expressed his concern for the social support of those involved in the fighting.
It is unclear what will happen to Wagner since Prigozhin’s mutiny and death, but the meeting with Troshev suggests that he and Yevkurov will oversee the remaining members of the group. Wagner, known for capturing the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, has faced significant changes with some fighters joining the Russian army formally and others moving to different private military companies. British military intelligence has reported that numerous fighters previously associated with Wagner may redeploy to Ukraine as part of various units. Troshev, a veteran and former commander in the SOBR rapid reaction force, was awarded Russia’s highest medal for his role in the storming of Palmyra against Islamic State militants in Syria.
In summary, the meeting between Putin and Troshev highlights Russia’s efforts to assert control over the Wagner mercenary group following the failed mutiny by its leader. Putin discussed the use of volunteer units in the Ukraine war and emphasized the importance of combat tasks and social support for those involved in the fighting. The fate of Wagner remains uncertain, with some fighters joining the formal Russian army and others moving to different private military companies. British military intelligence suggests that ex-Wagner fighters may redeploy to Ukraine as part of various units.