The Russian Press Secretary for the President Dmitry Peskov stated on the “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” television program that Russians were not sent to Venezuela to protect the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro.
He responded, “of course not,” to the corresponding question from a journalist, as quoted by Interfax quote.
When the host of the program reminded that media is reporting more than 400 militants in Russia, sent to protect Maduro, Peskov said: “fear has a vivid imagination.”
Earlier, Yevgeny Shabayev, who is positioning himself as the chairman of the committee of the All-Russian officer meeting and Ataman of the “Khovrino” Cossack organization told RBC news agency, where he learned about Russian militants being sent to Venezuela.
“I am involved in veteran movement, and often people in service of so-called private military companies <…> contact me. One of the guys from these private military companies who guards high-ranking persons, just in case contacted me and said he received an urgent order, according to which he had to gather a group and leave to an unknown location. This was on Monday, the 21st. On the 22nd, his relative called and confirmed the fact that they (mercenaries) arrived in Havana and they were put on a flight. She asked me to use my contacts with international journalists to find out where they will be transferred then,” said Shabayev.
Later, Shabayev clarified that he brought this information to the Reuters agency, which confirmed the report and published it. “And yesterday I saw a message that the facts were confirmed, that they are in Venezuela and they have seen Russian citizens at work directly for Maduro,” explained Shabayev.
It is with reference to Reuters that world media outlets published news that Russian PMC militants are protecting Maduro. Shabayev was mentioned as one of the sources close to the PMC’s.