Investigation: Baltic-registered crypto firms service payments for Russian private army, allow sanctions evasion
Known for its innovative e-governing system and booming IT industry, Estonia made a supposedly groundbreaking move in 2017. By launching a licensing system for cryptocurrency companies, the Baltic country wanted to become the first in the European Union to regulate crypto business. Instead, Estonia became a haven for international crypto
The death of an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin is not something new in history. More than 20 critics and opponents of Putin have been murdered or died in suspicious circumstances since 2000. However, the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia's Wagner mercenary group and once a
Just two days before a plane carrying Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin along with other top commanders of the Kremlin-linked mercenary group crashed over Russia, a video appeared online in which Prigozhin claimed to be somewhere on the African continent. In the video, published by the Russian "Razgruzka Vagnera" Telegram channel
A private plane has reportedly crashed in Russia's Tver Oblast, with the Wagner Group's boss Yevgeny Prigozhin listed as one of the passengers, the state-owned news agency TASS reported on Aug. 23.
During his recent mutiny, Russian mercenary leader and leading imperialist mouthpiece Yevgeny Prigozhin questioned the Kremlin’s propaganda line to justify Russia's war on Ukraine. His critique follows an earlier pattern of illuminating statements by Russian ultra-nationalists about Putin's regime. Known until recently only among Eastern Europe experts, Yevgeny Prigozhin
The rebellion organized by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group in June is seen by many analysts as a sign of weakness and fragility of Vladimir Putin’s regime. First, several thousand armed mercenaries managed to march for hundreds of kilometers from Rostov to the vicinity of Moscow, and no one
Episode #14 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to Wagner mercenary group's failed attempt to take on the Russian military establishment and its consequences.
The Wagner Group — a Russian private military company owned by oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin — has been at the forefront of Russia’s efforts to capture the city of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast. What is it, and why does Moscow use it?
Visually, the scene was a familiar one. Russian armored vehicles emblazoned with the Z logo in the central streets of a once peaceful city, masked soldiers standing at key intersections, and confrontational conversations with bemused local civilians. But this wasn’t a Ukrainian city in the first days of Russia’
Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the Wagner Group mercenaries, said Russian Defense Ministry attacked the group's bases in the rear. "We have 25,000 (soldiers), and we're going to respond," he said.
All Russian volunteer fighters are expected to sign contracts with the Defense Ministry by July 1 as part of their integration into the regular army, according to an order signed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on June 10.
Key Developments on May 25: * Prigozhin claims Wagner forces begin to withdraw from Bakhmut * Ukraine’s Defense Ministry says Russian military replacing Wagner units near Bakhmut * 106 Bakhmut defenders released from Russian captivity * Moscow and Minsk sign agreement to place nuclear weapons in Belarus * EU has frozen 200 billion euros
CHASIV YAR, Donetsk Oblast – Ten months after Russia's assault on the once-flourishing city in Donetsk Oblast began, Bakhmut has now been effectively occupied by Russian troops. This hasn’t been confirmed yet by Kyiv, but is evident based on both official statements and those made by soldiers on the ground
On the evening of May 9, just half a day after a single T-34 tank rolled through Red Square during Moscow’s subdued Victory Day celebrations, something unexpected happened. Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, announced that units of the Russian regular army’s 72nd Separate Motorized
This Week in Ukraine Ep. 7 – Why Russia relies on private militaries, like Wagner, for its war effort
“This Week in Ukraine” is a video podcast hosted by Kyiv Independent’s reporter Anastasiia Lapatina. Every week, Anastasiia sits down with her newsroom colleagues to discuss Ukraine’s most pressing issues.
Wagner a ‘shadow of what it once was’: Russia security expert on the rage of mercenary boss Prigozhin
After seeming to have calmed down over early spring, the internal conflict between Wagner mercenary group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian Defense Ministry has escalated dramatically. In the early morning of May 5, Prigozhin recorded a video in front of what he claimed to be the bodies of dozens
Private armies are illegal in Russia, so naturally, Moscow has been using them for decades. Now, it’s making them the main invasion force. The rate at which Russia creates new private military company-like units sped up after 2014 but it really took off during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine,
Two months after Ukraine’s defense of Bakhmut seemed doomed, the bloodiest battle of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine is still going against all expectations. Making rapid advances at the end of February, Russian forces seemed to be on the cusp of surrounding the city, as the only roads
DONETSK OBLAST – Climbing to a firing position through trenches dug into black Ukrainian soil, the relative quiet in the air is only reassuring to an extent. At the most forward point, a Soviet-era recoilless rifle stands watch, dug into a shallow depression in the ground. Bohdan, a company commander of
Ukraine war latest: Wagner admits Ukrainian forces not retreating from Bakhmut; Macron calls on Xi to 'bring Russia to senses'
Key developments on April 6: * Russia’s Wagner Group admits Ukrainian strongholds remain in Bakhmut * Lithuania to send $44 million worth of military aid to Ukraine * Ukraine, Poland to co-produce 125 mm tank shells * Reuters: China ready to work with France on Ukraine peace * EU chief says China’s Xi
Key developments on April 3: * Ukraine denies Russian claims about seizing Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast * Poland delivers first MiG-29 jets to Ukraine * Zelensky on upcoming counteroffensive: Russians “still have time to leave — otherwise, we will destroy them” * Zelensky, European officials meet with Russian occupation survivors in Chernihiv Oblast * General Staff:
On the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, with the first days of March came the all-consuming mud. Videos of trucks and armored vehicles bogged down in fields heralded the arrival of a time traditionally known in Ukrainian as bezdorizhzhia, or “roadlessness.” Though the mud may present a brief challenge to both
The battle for Bakhmut has revealed a decade-long covert conflict in Russia's Armed Forces. On one side, there is the regular Russian military. On the other side, Wagner Group, Russia's most high-profile mercenary outfit. Wagner was founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a confidante of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian generals have
Editor’s Note: The names of the people interviewed by the Kyiv Independent have been changed in this story to protect their identity as they have shared sensitive information that could place them and their families in danger. Not all of Ukraine’s attacks on Russian positions end up circulating
The ambassadors of European Union countries on Dec. 8 adopted sanctions against the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-backed military contractor, Rikard Jozwiak, an editor at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, wrote on Twitter. The sanctions apply to individuals who have fought in Ukraine, Syria, and Libya. Wagner mercenaries have been used