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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is actively evading a team of mercenaries with ties to Russia, according to former CIA station chief Dan Hoffman.
The ‘Times of London’ reported on February 28 that the commando known as The Wagner Group have forces on the ground in Ukraine and are looking for the country’s leader, who has so far dodged three separate assassination attempts. .
Hoffman, during a Friday appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” discussed intelligence about the group, which has been “very active” in North Africa and the Middle East in recent years.
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“The Wagner group was created years ago, mercenaries, who are not directly attributable to the Kremlin, but they are financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin who runs this Internet research agency which interfered in the American elections and was revealed by the Mueller investigation,” Hoffman said. host Bill Hemmer.
The group is set up to allow Russian leader Vladimir Putin “a bit of non-attribution” regarding the actions of the Chechnya-based mercenary team, Hoffman said. However, he said it was known that the Russian president was “really running the show”.
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“How good are the people of Zelenskyy? It seems remarkable that he was able to have a press conference yesterday and appeared on camera several times yesterday,” said co-host Dana Perino.
Hoffman prefaced his response by saying he had “no doubt” that Russia and the mercenary team had infiltrated Ukraine weeks, if not months, before their full-scale invasion.
“Zelenskyy’s team and his intelligence and security officers have made keeping him alive their top priority,” Hoffman said.
“They are able to detect threats. Conducting human operations, sources tell them where threats are and they anticipate threats before they materialize.”
Hoffman said it was also important to highlight why Zelenskyy is a prime target for Vladimir Putin. He noted that Putin was determined to decapitate the Ukrainian government and install Russia’s personal “puppet”.
He also said that Putin was threatened by the level of international support the Ukrainian president has garnered and by his control over “the information space”.
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“The truth, as we know, is the first casualty of war. Zelenskyy is out there on social media calling it that while Vladimir Putin tries to lie to get himself out of all the atrocities his army is committing in Ukraine,” Hoffman added. .