Who is Yevgeny Prigozhin? Wagner Mercenary Group Sends 'Bloody Sledgehammer' to European Parliament

Russia's notorious Wagner mercenary group has sent a "bloody sledgehammer" to the European Parliament as a reminder of a fighter's gruesome killing.

The sledgehammer was sent in a violin case as an "information case" to those voting in the EU Parliament to condemn Wagner in a non-binding resolution. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the mercenary group's head, said he held a meeting with Wagner Group commanders and they decided to declare the European Parliament "dissolved".

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Wikimedia Commons

The Deadly Sledgehammer

A sledgehammer had been used in the execution of a Russian soldier, earlier this month, who had defected to the Ukrainian side of the conflict. A video of the execution showed a burly Russian guard standing over Yevgeny Nuzhim, who was fighting for Russia in Ukraine but deserted, with a sledgehammer in hand. The guard slammed Nuzhim's head against the wall with the sledgehammer. The video showed the gruesome killing...the guard crushing the soldier's skull with the hammer again as he lay on the floor. This footage was also broadcast on a Wagner Group portal.

Prigozhin, nicknamed Putin's chef, is said to have viewed this video, titled "Hammer of Vengeance", and praised it. "I think this movie is called "A Dog's Death for a Dog"." He also stated in a Telegram post that "I prefer to watch this story in the theatre. As for the executed, in this show it is clear that he did not find happiness in Ukraine, but instead met with unkind, although fair people. It seems to me that this film is called The dog receives the dog's death."

However, Prigozhin, who is the founder of Concord Catering, later said his men could not have done such a thing because his employees are distinguished by their excellent discipline and strict compliance with international norms. He defended his men saying that the chatter heard on the video included none of the Russian swear words typically heard in these kind of videos.


EU Parliament Declares Russia State Sponsor of Terrorism

The European Parliament on Wednesday declared Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism" and a "state that uses means of terrorism". MEPs outlined the deliberate attacks and atrocities committed by Russian forces and their proxies (mercenary groups) against civilians in Ukraine, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and other serious violations of international and humanitarian law amount to acts of terror and constitute war crimes.

The MEPs also called on the Council to include the Russian paramilitary organization "the Wagner Group", the 141st Special Motorized Regiment (Kadyrovites) and other Russian-funded armed groups, militias and proxies on the EU's terror list.