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Wagner chief Prigozhin claims in video that American citizen died in fighting in Bakhmut


Yulia Morozova/Reuters

In the video, Prigozhin is shown inspecting a corpse and inspecting what he claims are American identification documents. (File Photo)


The head of the Russian private military company Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed that an American citizen died in the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, in a video posted on the Wagner Telegram group on Tuesday.

A pro-Kremlin military blogger, Alexander Simonov, introduces the video saying “we are advancing on PMC Wagner’s advanced positions in the western regions of Artyomovsk”, the Russian name for Bakhmut.

The video was filmed at night with the sound of an apparent mortar attack. The soldiers shout: “Into shelter.” Mortar attack from the western side.”

Prigozhin is shown inspecting a corpse and what he claims are American identification documents.

CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of the documents and cannot confirm the nationality of the body shown in the video. CNN is not naming the deceased pending confirmation of his identity.

Prigozhin says: “So we will hand him over to the United States, we will put him in a coffin, cover him with the American flag with respect, because he did not die in his bed like a grandfather, but he died in war and most likely a dignified [death]right?”

A soldier claims the man was shelling the fire when he died. Prigozhin replies: “He shot back; he died in the battle, so we’ll hand over his documents tomorrow morning and pack everything up, right?

The Prigozhin and Wagner group often posts videos for propaganda purposes, often mixing real footage with propaganda claims. CNN has reached out to the US State Department for comment.

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