Vladimir Putin’s ‘chef’ claims that more than 10 million American have applied to join his Russian mercenary group.
Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Thursday (February 9) that the organisation has now “completely stopped” recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine.
The claims were published in a statement on the Telegram press service page of Concord, as reported by Newsweek.
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CNN made an inquiry to the group asking why the paramilitary organisation had halted recruitment, prompting Wagner Group to issue a statement.
Prigozhin said that the decision was made because a recent Wagner Group recruitment ad "aimed at the American audience" had been a huge success, claiming that the ad had inspired millions of U.S. citizens to "fight against NATO."
It read: "We received more than 10 million applications from US citizens wishing to join the Wagner [Group] to fight against NATO.
"At the moment, we are considering about a million American citizens for employment. Therefore, we temporarily suspended the recruitment of volunteers from Russian prisons."
The publication claimed that a very small number of US citizens are known to have fought for Russia in Ukraine. Adding that there is no evidence that millions have applied.
However, a Wagner Group video aimed at recruiting sympathetic Americans was recently shared online – although it is unclear if this is the aforementioned clip.
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The video, narrated by a man with a heavy Russian accent, appears to be aimed at veterans who support former President Donald Trump and references his "make America great again" campaign slogan.
"You were a hero to your country, giving your best years in the army," the narrator says over stock images of U.S. soldiers.
"You dreamed of defeating evil. You dreamed of doing much to make America great again.
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"In reality, you served … the will of a bunch of families who thought they were earthly gods, deciding who would live under their rule and who would be destroyed.
"You began to realize that this is the side of evil.
"This is not the America the Founding Fathers dreamed of … the only country fighting this evil is Russia."
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