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Wagner Boss Challenges President Zelensky to Fight Him in Sky

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Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, head of Russia's Wagner group

Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, head of Russia’s mercenary group Wagner has challenged the Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to take up a fighter jet and meet him in the skies for a fight and see who will win.

Prigozhin a close confidant of Russian president Vladimir Putin made the remarks minutes after returning from an aerial bombardment sortie over the city of Bakhmut, the epicenter of fighting in eastern Ukraine. 

 He posted a video to social media on Monday that he claimed showed him flying on a fighter jet that had just completed bombing of Bakhmut.

In the very dark video, Prigozhin appeared to be inside a plane flying in darkness, wearing a helmet and a pilot mask. 

“We are landing, we bombed Bakhmut,” the businessman and Kremlin ally said. 

Prigozhin also challenged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to fight him in the skies over Bakhmut, saying he would board a Mig-29 fighter jet the next day. 

“If you have the will, we will meet in the skies. If you win, you will take Artemovsk [the Russian name for Bakhmut], if not, we will go until the Dnipro [River],” Prigozhin said.

Wagner mercenaries are taking part in Moscow’s offensive on Bakhmut, which Russia has been trying to capture for months.

Ukraine’s defense in the area has been weakened by recent Russian territorial gains, in particular the town of Soledar further north. 

Zelensky vowed to fight for Bakhmut “as long as we can” on Saturday. 

Prigozhin said that “fierce battles are going on for every street”.

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