Wagner Group waved the flag on Victory Day in Murmansk

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The military group that tried to seize power in Russia less than a year ago still has many supporters in the heavily militarised Kola Peninsula. During this week’s 9th of May parade in downtown Murmansk, there were flags of the mercenary group waiving in the wind as the Northern Fleet put on display its servicemen and military hardware, a video of the event shows.

The Wagner flags were all carried by men with masks and guerilla-like uniforms. Many of them also carried patches of the group, among them a picture of the human scull.

 

Masked warriors with uniforms and Wagner patches on the parade honorary stand. Screenshot of video

 

The black and yellow flags were marked with the slogan “Blood. Honour. Motherland. Bravery.”

There were also several Wagner warriors on the parade honorary stand. Only few meters away from where regional Governor Andrei Chibis and Northern Fleet Commander Konstantin Kabantsov delivered their Victory Day speeches were five men in balaclavas and field uniforms. Several of them carried medals and awards for fighting in the war against Ukraine.

 

Wagner fighter waves with flag as Northern Fleet head commander Kabantsov drives by. Screenshot of video

 

Although the PMC Wagner and its leaders Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin in June 2023 launched a mutiny against Putin and Russian authorities, the group is not banned in Russia. Following the killing of Prigozhin and Utkin in August 2023, Putin announced that “the Wagner Group legally does no longer exist.” Many thousands of Wagner fighters were killed in Ukraine, most of them in the battle over the city of Bakhmut. 

“We are proud of the bravery of today’s soldiers that with weapons in their hands continue the glorious path of the victorious generation that won against of Nazism,” Northern Fleet Commander Kabantsov said in his address to the soldiers lined up on the city square.

According to the vice-Admiral, soldiers from the Northern fleet have taken part in the war since the very start and “executed their duties with honour.”

He did not seem to pay any attention to the nearby Wagner men and their flags.

The Navy commander’s speech did not include a word about the huge losses in the brutal war of aggression. Thousands of men from regional units, among them the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade, the 200th Motorised Rifle Brigade and the 80th Motorised Rifle Brigade have been killed.

 

Also supporters of Josef Stalin were parading in Murmansk. Screenshot of video

 

According to the organisers of the parade, there were 500 servicemen from the Northern Fleet taking part. On display were 34 pieces of military hardware, including armoured personnel carriers BTR82AM, tanks T-80BVM, R416GM digital radio stations, the Bastion coastal missile system, missile complex Bal, Monolit-B coastal sea-surface and air reconnaissance system.

In previous years, the parade has included several more kinds of weapons, including the S-300 and S-400 air defence system.