The Russian businessman called the refusal to bury the fighters of his “Wagner Group” in the military cemetery “an attempt to humiliate the fallen soldiers.” The Speaker of the State Duma, Volodin, responded to this by saying that everyone, including PMC fighters, is equal at the front.
On Sunday, December 18, Russian businessman and head of the “Wagner Group” Evgeny Prigozhin said that he would seek to bury his mercenaries on the territory of the memorial Alley of Fame of the Beloostrivsky cemetery in St. Petersburg. The press service of his company “Concord” spread the relevant message on the “VKontakte” social network.
This is how Putin’s ally reacted to the story that became public about the burial of the soldier Dmytro Menshikov.
On February 25 of this year, a Russian man was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for selling drugs. Later, he was recruited into the ranks of the Wagner PMC, as a result of which he died in battles on the territory of Ukraine. However, the City Hall of St. Petersburg refused to give him a place on the memorial Walk of Fame. Journalists were unofficially told that former criminal criminals cannot lie there, the site is intended only for servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, to which the fighters of the “Wagner Group” do not belong.
Instead, the administration of the Russian city decided to create a new section of the cemetery called “Alley of Valor”. However, Prigozhin did not like this option.
“The cunning administration of Smolny [the administration of St. Petersburg is located in the building of Smolny] invented a new term – “Alley of valor”, where they decided to hide all kinds of evil, in their opinion, in particular, fighters of the “Wagner” PVK,” he commented.
At the same time, Prigozhin emphasized that they might agree to such an option, since Menshikov died a month ago and has not yet been buried.
“I don’t know whether we will agree with this decision or not. On the one hand, this is an attempt to humiliate the fallen soldiers. On the other hand, Dmytro Menshikov died exactly a month ago and still has not been buried. And to make a deal with conscience and bury him in another region, which would be happy to provide a place, would not like it,” he added.
In this regard, the head of the “Wagner Group” appealed to Colonel-General of the Russian Federation Andriy Kartapolov with a request to influence the “pro-Western party from Smolny”.
The head of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Vyacheslav Volodin, has already reacted to Prigozhin’s indignation. According to him, the regional authorities should do everything to “honor” those who died in the war against Ukraine, regardless of their status.
“At the front lines, everyone is equal: volunteers, PMC fighters, military personnel. They can not be divided. Laws regarding combatants should apply to everyone,” Volodin commented.
He also promised that the State Duma Defense Committee will prepare relevant proposals.
Earlier it became known that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s son Pavlo prefers to use Western-made ammunition. In the photo examined by the journalists, he is wearing an American helmet, a British tactical vest and Slovak boots.
According to British intelligence, the “Wagners” seek to retain experienced commanders and armored vehicles, and consider the recruited convicted recruits expendable.