The mayor of Melitopol complains that Wagner Group is trying to recruit soldiers among the local population

Archive – Headquarters in St. Petersburg, Russia, of the mercenary Wagner Group. – MAKSIM KONSTANTINOV / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The mayor of the city of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, has denounced on Monday that the Wagner Group – a mercenary organization that defends Russian interests – is trying to recruit soldiers among the population of the locality, occupied by Russian troops.

According to Fedorov, the Wagner Group is sending letters to some of the citizens of Melitopol offering them up to 200,000 rubles – just under 2,500 euros – to join the mercenary organization and fight in Bakhmut.

Melitopol came to the fore during the early stages of the war, as it was one of the first cities to fall into Russian hands. Ukraine, for its part, also denounced the kidnapping of Fedorov, who was released by Russian troops in mid-March last year.

Regarding Bakhmut, the city has been the scene of intense clashes between Russia and Ukraine for weeks, as it is a strategic enclave for Ukrainian interests on the eastern front.