Wagner channels say Russian arrested in Finland is top fighter with neo-Nazi background

Wagner channels say Russian arrested in Finland is top fighter with neo-Nazi background

A top fighter in one of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries’ subunits has been detained in Finland at Ukraine’s request, according to social media channels linked to the group. The fighter, identified as Yan Petrovsky, is a founding member and leader of the far-right subunit Rusich, which is affiliated with Wagner. Petrovsky has been under European Union and United States sanctions since last year. He was initially arrested on July 20 for a visa violation and may now face extradition to Ukraine. Petrovsky, a long-time far-right activist, helped establish Rusich as a neo-Nazi unit during the conflict in the Donbas in 2014. It remains unclear how Petrovsky managed to enter Finland while under European Union sanctions.

Wagner, known for its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and mercenary operations in African nations, has faced sanctions from several Western countries due to alleged atrocities. This week, there were reports that its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and other top figures died in a plane crash. However, the Kremlin has not definitively confirmed these reports.

The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation requested the extension of Petrovsky’s detention in custody, and a district court in Vantaa near Helsinki was expected to grant this request. Petrovsky, who also goes by the name Voislav Torden, is suspected of participating in a terrorist group’s activities and supporting terrorism. Ukraine’s prosecutor general has not yet responded to requests for comment. Rusich published part of what it claimed to be the Ukrainian request for Petrovsky’s arrest on Telegram.

The Russian embassy in Helsinki acknowledged the detention of a Russian citizen in Finland at Ukraine’s request and stated that it was taking steps to provide consular assistance. The situation is being monitored by Russian state news agency RIA.

Reporting by Felix Light in Tbilisi, Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv, and Anne Kauranen in Helsinki; Editing by Mark Trevelyan. Our Standards: The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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