Who is Troshev, the man who will lead Wagner in Ukraine

The gray-haired general, veteran of all Russia’s wars

Former Wagner chief of staff Andrey “Sedoy” (gray hair) Troshev, a retired colonel, is a veteran of Afghanistan and the two wars in Chechnya, as well as, once he joined Wagner, Syria and Ukraine. He has been integrated into the organizational chart of the Ministry of Defense since last July, after that he had refused to follow Evgheny Prigozhin in the June mutiny and had offered his loyalty to the defense brass, Troshev will now coordinate the activity of volunteer groups in Ukraine.

Twice awarded the Order of the Red Star for his service in Afghanistan. Twice he was awarded the Order for Courage and a medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, for his work in Chechnya. Hero of Russia in 2016, for having commanded the attack on Palmyra against IS (a video is available in which the award pinned to his jacket is visible, but the decree was never published).

The 70-year-old former soldier, originally from the then Leningrad, where he graduated from the Artillery Academy, was included in the list of people affected by European Union sanctions as early as December 2021 for his role in Syria, in particular in the Deir ez-Zor region, therefore for “the crucial contribution to Assad’s war”.

Before the plane crash that killed Prigozhin on August 23, Dmitri Utkin – with whose name Troshev was associated in the past, and with whom he was at the December 2016 Kremlin reception where the highest honors were distributed – and several other Wagner commanders, Putin had offered the company’s mercenaries to come under his command at the meeting in the Kremlin that was supposed to be peacemaking on June 29th.

Troshev had been a police colonel of the Sobr (special rapid reaction team of the Ministry of the Interior) of the St. Petersburg district and of the Omon, also of the Ministry of the Interior, for the north-western district. He was a paratrooper of the artillery corps. Never a chef or restaurateur.