World: Putin ally says he sent EU Parliament a stained sledgehammer after it branded Russia a state sponsor of terrorism

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Yevgeny Prigozhin on August 9, 2016. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP © Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Yevgeny Prigozhin on August 9, 2016. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
  • The European Parliament declared Russia a "state sponsor of terrorism" on Wednesday.
  • Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin responded by saying that he had sent the EU a sledgehammer.
  • It is unclear whether the EU received the sledgehammer, which had fake blood stains on it.

An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Wednesday that he had sent the European Parliament a  sledgehammer stained with fake blood after it branded Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

This week, the EU Parliament announced that repeated Russian military strikes on Ukrainian civilians and its energy infrastructure had violated international law, and it had voted to recognize Moscow "as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state which uses means of terrorism."

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The vote passed with 494 in favor, 58 against, and 44 abstentions.

On Wednesday, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who founded the notorious Wagner Group paramilitary, responded to the vote in a notably bombast fashion.

Prigozhin was quoted on a Concord Management Telegram channel as saying that he had discussed the EU vote with his Wagner commanders and decided to take action against the parliament.

Concord is a catering company founded by Prigozhin, who has long been nicknamed "Putin's chef."

"Today I held a meeting of the Wagner PMC commanders and told them this sad news," the statement, which was reported by both The Moscow Times and the independent Russian news outlet SOTA, said. "I do not know what law the European Parliament is guided by, but according to our legislation, from today we declare the European Parliament dissolved."

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It continued: "But before this procedure enters into legal force, I was instructed to submit an information case to the European Parliament."

Prigozhin did not directly say what he meant by an "information case." However, a video published by SOTA on Wednesday showed a violin case containing a sledgehammer with the inscription "PMC Wagner" on its head and fake blood stains on its handle. (PMC Wagner is another name for The Wagner Group.)

The violin case was carried by the Wagner Group's lawyer Igor Yeliseyev, the Gulagu.net rights group said on Telegram. Insider was unable to independently verify the reports.

According to The Moscow Times, Yeliseyev gave the case to a pro-war military blogger, who was meant to pass it on to a member of the EU parliament.

It is unclear whether the EU Parliament received the sledgehammer. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Earlier this month, in another Concord post, Prigozhin appeared to celebrate the brutal execution of a Russian soldier who had defected to Ukraine.

In a video shared on a pro-Russian social media channel, the man was struck twice in the head with a sledgehammer. Prigozhin's response was that the man was "a traitor."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on the international community to declare Russia a "terrorist state" over its invasion of his country.

This latest video comes on the back of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, saying that the parliament's official website had been hit by a cyberattack.

"The European Parliament is under a sophisticated cyberattack. A pro-Kremlin group has claimed responsibility," Metsola announced on Wednesday.

"Our IT experts are pushing back against it and protecting our systems. This, after we proclaimed Russia as a State-sponsor of terrorism. My response: #SlavaUkraini (Glory to Ukraine)," she added.

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