The Wagner Group is normally in the news for all the wrong reasons, but for the second time this year, a film by the production company Aurum is depicting the Russian mercs in a totally different light, as “Russians saving Africans”. The new film titled “Granit” is slated for release in Russia on January 4.

While showing Russian mercenaries as heroic defenders of Africans may stretch the limits of believability given Wagner’s record of human rights abuses stretching from Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic, Ukraine, and Mozambique, the production company is non-plussed and has set the film for release on the government-friendly NTV channel on Tuesday. 

And no wonder. One of the major stakeholders in Aurum is none other than the Kremlin-linked catering magnate Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s chef” because of many of his catering contracts with the government. He’s also considered the owner of the Wagner Group, something Prigozhin adamantly denies. 

However, Prigozhin and Aurum have produced two films celebrating Russian private military company members. The first, which was “The Tourist” which was set in the Central African Republic (CAR) as Russian “instructors” are sent to the CAR on the eve of the presidential elections.