Wagner Group, the state-backed private military company that has played a key role in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, is overseeing the fortification of Belgorod Oblast along its border with Ukraine, according to Yevgenii Prigozhin, the group's founder and Russian President Vladimir Putin's close ally.
Wagner Group instructors are also "training citizens who will defend the borders" of Belgorod Oblast, Prigozhin's company Konkord wrote on Russian social media site VKontakte, as reported by Russian media outlets.
Infrastructure in Belgorod has repeatedly come under attack since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but Ukrainian authorities haven't claimed responsibility.
The announcement comes as Prigozhin also spoke of Wagner Group's work to fortify the border of illegally annexed Luhansk Oblast in Ukraine, boasting of the creation of the so-called "Wagner Line," named in the spirit of other famous fortified defensive lines in the 20th century military history.
In his comment, Prigozhin declared his readiness to provide similar assistance "to other regions which need to take care of their own defense."