Kremlin spokesman’s son served with Russia’s Wagner Group in Ukraine

Moscow : Nikolai Peskov, the 33-year-old son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said that he served with Russian mercenary Wagner Group in Ukraine for six months under a false ID with a different last name, according to media reports.

Nikolai made the revelation on Sunday during an interview with the pro-Kremlin daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, the BBC reported.

“I considered it my duty… I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and watch friends and other people go there… When I went there, I had to change my last name. Nobody really knew who I was,” Nikolai, who speaks fluent English having spent several years as a youth in London, said.

He has worked as a correspondent for Russian state broadcaster RT and both the father-son duo are currently under US sanctions.

Nikolai told the Russian daily that it was his own decision to join Wagner, but he did not know how to do it, “so I had to turn to my dad… and he helped me with that”.

He said he used a false ID so that his Wagner comrades would not learn of his Kremlin connections.

He however, did not reveal that assumed name in the interview because, he might need to use it again.

Nikolai’s interview comes after the Wagner chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Friday that the Kremlin spokesman’s son had served as a gunner with his mercenary force, CNN reported.

Prigozhin did not specify what period of time he was talking about.

According to Prigozhin, Nikolai Peskov served in PMC Wagner for six months under false documents with a different last name, working as a loader of an ammunition supply vehicle.

The Wagner chief said he attended a three-week training at their base in Molkino and later “left for Luhansk”.

According to Prigozhin, Dmitry Peskov had asked him to “take (Nikolai) on as a simple artilleryman”.

Wagner is called a “private military company” in Russia and now has international notoriety for alleged war crimes and other abuses in Ukraine.

It has recruited thousands of convicts from prisons after taking heavy losses, reports the BBC.

It is rare for a member of the Russian elite to choose to join Wagner — many have gone abroad to avoid conscription into the regular army.


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