A mercenary group working for the Russian government is reportedly fortifying parts of the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine as the so-called “people’s militia” attempts to keep the incoming Ukrainian forces away.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner mercenary group, claimed that the group is currently working on fortifying the line of defense at the occupied Lugansk region in Ukraine, keeping details low but bragging that the group’s presence “at the front line is already an impregnable wall,” according to The Defense Post.

“A complex of fortifications is being built on the contact line, commonly known as the ‘Wagner line’,” the Russian businessman said. “It is a multi-level and layered [defense].”

He also claimed separately that his group was forming a “people’s militia” at Russia’s Belgorod region and that multiple companies were producing “required items for fortifications” as they trained the civilians to defend the border, the Moscow Times reported.

Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenary group, which was created in 2014 and is also reportedly recruiting prisoners for the fight, is allowed by the Russian government to run because of its use as a non-military option for potential foreign interests of the government.

The city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk Oblast region, meanwhile, is receiving shelling and other such attacks as Ukrainian forces are being battled by the Wagner group, who are successfully able to make gains in the region in small but measurable ways, CNN reported.

“They are a rabble. There are a few, very well-trained professional fighters, but the majority of them have found themselves accidentally fighting in this war looking for money or for the ability to get out of jail,” Katrusya, a Ukrainian medic, said.

The fighting in the region continues, as Russian President Vladimir Putin and his troops continue their attempts to keep important cities in the region occupied by Russian forces. Despite this, Prigozhin himself has found time to praise the Ukrainian troops that his mercenary group is fighting against.

“The situation near Bakhmut is stably difficult, the Ukrainian troops are putting up decent resistance and the legend of the fleeing Ukrainians is just a legend. Ukrainians are guys with the same iron balls as we are,” he said.

Ukraine Wagner Group Rep. Pic
The infamous Wagner mercenary group is reportedly fortifying portions of the Ukrainian Eastern Front on Thursday, as they continue their battle to keep occupied Ukrainian cities in Russian hands. This is a representational image. Artem Kniaz/Unsplash.

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