The website of the Center for National Opposition (Sprotyw), run by the Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian army, has estimated the forces of the Wagner Group in Belarus. According to soldiers, the number of mercenaries staying behind Poland’s eastern border is currently less than 1,000. What do they do?
Sprotyw refers to information provided by the “local underground” in Belarus.
“For now, 200 of them still serve as instructors in special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of Belarus. The rest are those who do not want to be admitted to new mercenary formations or to the Ministry of Defense,” Sprotyw reports, citing its sources on Belarus.
The portal reminded that the Russian Ministry of Defense has created its own “private army”, to which it is recruiting mercenaries from the former Wagner groupsa formation created by the late Yevgeny Prigozhin (who was said to have died in a plane crash).
Ukrainian sources also claimed that the formation of the Russian Ministry of Defense and Alexander Lukashenko’s “private army” established in Belarus were “fighting” for the Wagnerites.
On June 24, the Wagnerians captured the headquarters of the Russian troops in Rostov-on-Don and then began to advance towards Moscow. Prigozhin, who has long been in conflict with the part of the Russian military establishment leading the invasion of Ukraine, demanded the “restoration of justice” in the army and the removal of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
On the same day in the evening, Prigozhin announced the retreat and withdrawal of mercenaries to field camps to “avoid bloodshed”. This was the result of the deal between the dictator of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, and Prigozhin, concluded in an agreement with Vladimir Putin. According to these arrangements, some of the Wagner Group fighters were to move to Belarus.
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On August 23, Prigozhin, as well as other representatives of the Wagnerite leadership, including Dmitry Utkin, died in a plane crash in the Tver region. According to most analysts, their deaths were the Kremlin’s revenge for the June rebellion and the “march on Moscow.”
As reported by the Ukrainian Border Guard and the British Ministry of Defense at the end of July, military base in the village of Cel At least several thousand Russian mercenaries had arrived in central Belarus by that time. Later, there were reports that some of them left for African countries. A small group remained in Belarus to train special units of the local Ministry of Internal Affairs, and still other Wagnerians agreed to serve in the Russian army and return to the front in Ukraine.