Rasmus Paludan is connected to recruiters in the Wagner Group

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The far-right politician Rasmus Paludan was on Russian social media friends with at least six men connected to the Wagner group, according to an intelligence analysis obtained by Cold Facts. But Rasmus Paludan denies – and says that he believes that TV4 fiddled and created the account. – This is totally ridiculous, he says. The company Paliscope has mapped 8,000 men believed to belong to the Wagner group or the militias that are wholly or partially under Wagner’s control. When TV4 looked for connections to Swedes, it was found that six Russian people in the survey were friends with Rasmus Paludan on VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. Paludan has repeatedly denied any links to Russian persons. Fighting for Russia in Ukraine The men he is linked to have fought for Russia in Ukraine during the ongoing war or during previous battles in Crimea and the Donbass region. According to Ukraine, one of the men is considered to have been tasked with influencing elections and public opinion for Russian interests. One of the connections goes to Aleksandr Ilyutenko, who is believed to be a recruiter for the Wagner group. – He is a well-known Wagner recruiter tasked with recruiting soldiers to the Wagner group. He is seen in very senior contexts in various materials, both with senior managers there but also on a political level. He is definitely not just an everyday figure in Wagner, says Rolf Rosenvinge, CEO at Paliscope. Paludan: “This is totally ridiculous” The account, which existed until at least 2018, is now blocked but is considered to belong to Rasmus Paludan, among other things, because the account was also the administrator of the Stram Kurs party account on VKontakte. But Paludan himself denies knowledge of the Russian persons and says in an interview that he believes that TV4 fiddled and created the account. – This is totally ridiculous. I would assume that the profile you have been looking at is not my profile. It seems more like you may have fiddled with this to create a Vkontakte profile, says Rasmus Paludan to TV4. After Paludan’s Koran burnings, the 2022 Easter coup that followed and the impact on the NATO process, the question of Russian connections to the events has been raised, but there is no evidence for this. The leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has spoken openly about engaging in influence operations. Here you can see the entire Kalla fakta program about Paludan’s Wagner connection.