Russian President Vladimir Putin recently met with one of the highest-ranking former commanders of the Wagner mercenary group, Andrei Troshev. The Kremlin has stated that Troshev now holds a position within the defense ministry. Troshev previously served as an aide to the late Wagner chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who tragically perished in a plane crash in August. This incident occurred just two months after Wagner troops staged a brief march toward Moscow.
During their meeting, President Putin assigned Troshev the responsibility of overseeing volunteer fighter units in Ukraine. Putin specifically mentioned that these volunteer units would be tasked with various combat missions, primarily within the zone of a “special military operation,” referring to the conflict in Ukraine. The president expressed confidence in Troshev’s ability to address the necessary issues to ensure successful combat operations.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Andrei Troshev is currently employed by the defense ministry. This meeting is significant in light of President Putin’s efforts to reassert control over Wagner following their mutiny in June. During this period, Prigozhin led an insurrection, sending troops into the city of Rostov in southern Russia and advancing further towards Moscow before ultimately retreating. This mutiny represented one of the most significant challenges to Putin’s authority in the past two decades.
In a recent move, President Putin called upon all employees of Wagner and other Russian private military contractors to pledge allegiance to the Russian state. Troshev, also known by his alias “Sedoi,” is a highly regarded veteran with extensive experience in Russia’s conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya. He was honored with the Hero of Russia Award for his contributions as a Wagner commander supporting government forces in Syria between 2015 and 2016.
The meeting with Troshev follows the tragic plane crash on August 23 that claimed the lives of Prigozhin and nine others. Prigozhin’s leadership had become increasingly precarious following the failed mutiny. The Kremlin has consistently denied any direct involvement in the Wagner mercenary group.