U.S. thinks Putin ally Prigozhin wants control of salt, gypsum from mines near Bakhmut

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WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (Reuters) – The United States is of the view that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is the founder of Russia’s most powerful mercenary group, is interested in taking control of salt and gypsum from mines near the Ukrainian-held city of Bakhmut, a White House official said on Thursday.

There are indications that monetary motives are driving Russia’s and Prigozhin’s “obsession” with Bakhmut, the official added. Prigozhin is the owner of private Russian military company Wagner Group. (Reporting by Steve Holland; writing by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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