Pro-Vladimir-Putin private army in war in Ukraine boasts it now has its own air force – World News
The private army of the Vladimir-Putin-Wagner group has boasted it now has its own air force after two pilots were captured in Ukraine
Image: EAST2WEST NEWS)
The private Vladimir Putin Army Wagner Group now boasts its own air force and hires pilots, it has boasted.
Wagner has fought in Syria and Africa and is active in Ukraine, and while it has close ties to Russia’s defense ministry, it is kept at a distance, allowing the Kremlin to deny responsibility for its actions.
It is widely believed to be controlled by the billionaire oligarch and close confidante of Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose restaurant has earned him the nickname of Putin’s Chef.
He denies any connections to Wagner.
A recent job posting on social media said the company offered “everything from firearms to aerospace and anti-aircraft systems.”
It will be set for the “nearby foreign countries”, ie for operations in countries of the former Soviet Union, it said.
It added: “We absolutely need anyone who fits the general job description. We will find a way to use all of them.
“Some are taught extra skills, others are trained from scratch… There are vacancies front and back…”
The ad supports an intelligence report from the UK Ministry of Defense that Wagner is outfitting pilots with Soviet-era planes.
The report comes after a former Russian air force major was caught on video after being shot down over Ukraine in a Sukhoi Su-25 Grach, a Soviet-made single-seat jet that first flew in 1975.
Dressed only in trousers and a blindfold, the wounded pilot is said to have been thrown from his plane before the crash.
Kanamat Botashev/east2west news)
The Department of Defense said he later stated he was employed by Wagner and flew several missions during the war.
It concluded: “The use of retired personnel now working as Wagner contractors to conduct close air support missions shows that the Russian Air Force is likely to have difficulty supporting the invasion of Ukraine with sufficient aircraft personnel.
“This is likely due to a combination of Russia’s insufficient number of suitably trained personnel and its combat losses.
“While conducting his missions, the Russian pilot reportedly used commercial GPS devices instead of Russian military navigation equipment.
“This likely indicates that Wagner aircraft are older models of the Su-25 and that the Russian Air Force is not providing Wagner with up-to-date avionics equipment.”
Last month, another retired Russian airman was killed after the same model plane was blown up from the skies over Luhansk by a Stinger missile.
Former General Kanamat Botashev, 63, is said to have fought with Wagner.
Russia recently lost two Su-25s on its own territory during so-called “training flights” near the border. It is unclear whether these flights were connected to Wagner.
Earlier this month, we revealed how Wagner has suffered huge casualties since entering the conflict.
While 30,000 Russian troops had been killed in the first 100 days of the war, hundreds more elite Wagner soldiers had died.
A Russian soldier’s phone call home was intercepted and he was heard telling his wife, “Even well-trained mercenaries can’t do their jobs.”
He adds: Of the several thousand mercenaries sent to Ukraine to reinforce the regular armed forces, “pathetic remnants remain”.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/pro-vladimir-putin-private-army-27326182 Pro-Vladimir-Putin private army in war in Ukraine boasts it now has its own air force - World News