The Russian group Wagner has been willing to pay a reward of 15 million dollars for the head of the Italian Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, who recently blamed these mercenaries for the wave of migrants that are arriving on the shores of the country This is confirmed by a report from the Italian intelligence services in information they received about ten days ago, before Crosetto made these statements.

“It is unacceptable. We are between the ridiculous and the criminal”, criticized the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, after learning of the threat. “Every day information arrives, more or less credible, that those who deal with the security of the Republic must verify, study and, if necessary, contrast”, commented Crosetto, one of the prime minister’s closest allies , Giorgia Meloni.

On Monday, the minister surprised by assuring that the increase in arrivals in recent days on Italian shores is part of “a clear hybrid war strategy of the Wagner division, mercenaries in the pay of Russia, which it is putting into practice using the considerable weight in some African countries,” he said in a statement about forces accused of operating in countries such as Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic.

In a call for attention to the EU and NATO, the minister asked for help to deal with the migration situation, and defended that “just as they realized that cyber attacks were part of the global confrontation that has open the Ukrainian conflict, they should now realize that the southern front of Europe is also every day more dangerous”. NATO “runs the risk of cracking if it leaves alone the countries most exposed to reprisals of various kinds, such as the opening of the immigration taps by some states”, Crosetto considered.

According to data held by the Italian Ministry of the Interior, immigration has increased to 20,021 people from January 1 to March 15, 2023, compared to the 6,263 immigrants who arrived in the country in the same period on 2022 and the 6,041 of 2021.

Everything happens at a time when Giorgia Meloni’s Executive is facing significant criticism for the management of the shipwreck of a boat with about 180 migrants off the coast of Calabria on February 26, which ended with the death of ‘about 76 people, many of them minors, and with criticism for negligence.

The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has denied any involvement of the mercenaries in the migration issue and has assured that “Crosetto should look less in other directions and take care of its own problems, which it probably has not been able to solve”. “We are not aware of what is happening with the migration crisis, we do not deal with it. We have many problems to deal with”, he replied, after having harshly insulted the Italian minister on his Telegram channel.