The Wagner mercenary group is working on a fortified line of defense in Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region that Moscow claims to have annexed, the group’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said Wednesday.
“A complex of fortifications is being built on the contact line, commonly known as the ‘Wagner line’,” the pro-Kremlin businessman said on the social media of his company Concord.
“It is a multi-level and layered defence,” he said, without providing details.
He boasted the line was not even “needed” for the group because “the presence of a Wagner unit at the front line is already an impregnable wall” in itself.
Prigozhin, dubbed “Putin’s chef” because of his Kremlin catering contracts, has been hit with EU and US sanctions.
The 61-year-old was accused of being behind a “troll factory” that attempted to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.
In late September, he admitted founding the Wagner group in 2014 to fight in Ukraine and recognized its presence in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.
For years, the Wagner group has been suspected of playing a role in realizing Moscow’s overseas ambitions, with the Kremlin denying any links.
Its presence has been reported in conflict zones including Syria, Libya, Mali, Ukraine, and the Central African Republic, where it has been accused of abuses and capturing state power.