MOSCOW, September 26. /TASS/. Businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin created a "group of patriots" in 2014, which later became known as the battalion level tactical group (BTG) Wagner, as follows from a comment his Concord company uploaded to its VKontakte page on behalf of the businessman on Monday.
"In 2014, when the genocide of Donbass’ Russian population began, when Russia managed to prevent the Ukrainian army from entering Crimea, I, like many other businessmen, visited some training sites in order to recruit a group that would go and protect the Russians," Concord quotes Prigozhin as saying. "But very quickly I realized that half of all those ‘Cossacks’ and other paramilitaries were scammers, and the other half - those who would pocket the money, hire volunteers and send them literally naked and barefooted to meet their death. Then I flew to one of the training sites to take matters in my own hands."
Prigozhin said he eventually found specialists who managed to help him:
"It was at that moment, on May 1, 2014, that a group of patriots took shape, which later would acquire the name BTG Wagner. Prigozhin said it was the bravery and courage of these fighters that made it possible to take Lugansk Airport and many other territories, as well as to fundamentally change the fate of the LPR and the DPR."
"I am proud I managed to defend their right to protect the interests of their country," he said. "These guys are heroes, who defended the Syrian people, the peoples of other Arab countries, and destitute Africans and Latin Americans and have become one of the pillars of our Motherland."
Russia’s official law enforcement and military authorities have never commented on Wagner’s activities.