Espreso. Global

Ukrainian Armed Forces confirm return of Wagner fighters to front

27 September, 2023 Wednesday
16:22

The Wagner mercenaries arrived from Belarus to the territory of the Eastern Military Group. Some of them are now renegotiating contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry to return to the front in Ukraine

client/title.list_title

Head of the press service of the Eastern Military Group Ilia Yevlash said this in a comment to RBC-Ukraine.

"We confirm that the Wagner fighters are present on the territory of the Eastern Military Group. These are Wagner PMC servicemen who were on the territory of Belarus," he said.

In particular, we are talking about about 500 people who are planned to be involved in the war by the Russian Federation. According to Yevlash, the Wagner soldiers, who numbered about 8,000 fighters, are currently disbanding their camps in Belarus.

"Now some of these militants have gone to Africa, while others are renegotiating contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry and returning here, to eastern Ukraine, to take part in combat operations, both as instructors and as soldiers," the head of the press service of the Eastern Military Group told the publication.

At the same time, he noted that they would not pose a significant threat, as they did before, since their leader Prigozhyn had been eliminated.

"These people are indeed among the best trained in the Russian army, but they will not become a significant threat, a 'game changer'" Yevlash concluded.

What is known about the fate of the Wagner fighters

After the mutiny of Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in late June, the Kremlin announced the relocation of Wagner mercenaries to Belarus.

On June 27, self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko confirmed the arrival of Yevgeny Prigozhin in the country. According to him, Wagner mercenaries  who arrived with him will not guard the Russian tactical nuclear weapons deployed there. However, Lukashenko emphasized that he expects the mercenaries to help in the defense of Belarus, without specifying the potential source of the country's perceived threat.

On July 31, the Wagner PMC had suspended the work of its regional recruitment centers "indefinitely." And Prigozhin revoked the vacations of employees and ordered them to arrive in Belarus by August 5.

On August 23, a business jet belonging to Yevgeny Prigozhin, an Embraer aircraft, crashed in Russia's Tver region, resulting in the confirmed deaths of 10 individuals.

Subsequently, the Institute for the Study of War suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin might have ordered the assassination of Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to reassert dominance and seek revenge.

After that, self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that the Wagner mercenaries would continue to be based in the country, despite the probable death of Prigozhin.

At the end of August, it became known that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus had been issuing passports with changed surnames to the Wagner soldiers for a month, which may be related to the preparation of sabotage activities, including terrorist attacks.

Satellite imagery showed that the dismantling of the Wagner PMC camp in the village of Tsel near Osipovichi was underway. Between August 23 and September 14, approximately 60 large military tents were removed. As of September 18, less than 1,000 mercenaries remained in Belarus.

Later, the Center for National Resistance reported that the enemy was creating a PMC in Africa for mercenaries, including the Wagner mercenaries. At the same time, the structure is being formed on the basis of a brigade that is being taken out of Ukraine, where it took part in hostilities.

On September 24, ISW reported that scattered contingents of the Wagner PMC are likely to return to fighting in the ranks of the Russian occupation army in Ukraine. Instead, the mercenaries will not be able to help the Russians significantly turn the tide at the front in their favor.

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Thursday
13 June
09:35
Russia loses 980 soldiers, 17 tanks and 34 artillery systems in one day of war in Ukraine
2024, Wednesday
12 June
21:55
Exclusive
Dangerous even after being shot down: expert on Russia's modified cruise missiles
21:40
Review
Victorious news of 840th day of war: intelligence confirms two Russian Su-57s hit, Ukraine may receive first F-16s this summer
21:23
Russia plans to "re-educate" 5,000 schoolkids in summer camps in occupied Luhansk region
20:58
Exclusive
Hate, manipulation, and “pain points”: media expert on how Russian propaganda works
20:27
Ukraine forces destroy rare Russian Zoopark radar
19:56
Exclusive
Peace Summit aims to make distant countries realize that war threatens them as well - diplomat
19:30
We enter period of potential nuclear destruction, and it's not Russia's fault: foreign fakes for June 12
19:02
Updated
Russian missile strike on Kryvyi Rih kills 8, injures 21
18:49
Exclusive
Russian troops forced to move their headquarters further away from frontline - Ukrainian major
18:27
Rheinmetall to start producing Lynx infantry fighting vehicles in Ukraine in 2024
18:06
Felix and Me, based on novel by military Artem Chekh, is available on Netflix
17:47
Russia's war makes strokes in Ukraine 10-15 years younger - Health Minister Liashko
17:28
Film featuring Mystetskyi Arsenal team, singer ONUKA wins Emmy Award
17:09
Ukrainian army destroys Russian S-300, S-400 radars in occupied Crimea
16:50
Russia's Central Bank's frozen assets to work in Ukraine's favor: EU and G7 prepare new decision
16:29
Russia may have broken through to Chasiv Yar suburb - British intelligence
16:04
Exclusive
ECtHR begins hearings in "Ukraine and Netherlands v. Russia" on human rights violations
15:46
Ukrainian forces deny Russian claim of capturing Miasozharivka village
15:26
Hurgary's Orban says he will not block NATO's decision on Ukraine
15:02
Exclusive
June 5-12 live war map: Donetsk front crisis and clearing sky over Crimea
14:26
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief names frontline areas where Russia concentrates its main efforts
13:56
Exclusive
Bolstering Ukraine's air defense: how many air defense systems Ukraine can get
13:35
Two Indians recruited by Russia killed in war in Ukraine
13:17
Netherlands to deliver first F-16s to Ukraine this summer - Defense Minister Ollongren
12:59
Exclusive
Ukrainian army destroys 2 rare Russian Tyulpan mortars in eastern direction
12:39
Review
Germany's consistency in bolstering Ukraine's air defense, deja vu after Rheinmetall CEO's statement. Serhiy Zgurets' column
12:13
U.S. Biden approves second Patriot air defense system for Ukraine
11:35
ISW explains why Russia accuses Ukraine and NATO of terrorism
11:14
Ukraine finds Starlink alternative to target Crimea waters - Commander Sukharevskyi
10:58
Norway to allocate EUR 240 million for Ukraine's air defense
10:37
US announces new sanctions against "Russian war machine"
10:15
Man attacks Ukrainian woman with knife in Germany, 19-year-old Afghan man suspected
09:58
Russia attacks Ukraine with Shaheds and missiles at night, injuring civilians
09:38
Infographics
Russia loses 980 soldiers, 9 tanks and 46 artillery systems in one day of war in Ukraine
2024, Tuesday
11 June
22:15
Review
Victorious news of 839th day of war: Russian EW system destroyed, Germany, Italy supply air defense aid to Ukraine
21:57
Updated
Germany to supply third Patriot battery, 100 missiles to Ukraine
21:52
Russian air activity intensifies in Pokrovsk sector — Ukraine's General Staff
21:30
Ukrainian diplomats recruit mercenaries in Côte d'Ivoire - new Russian propaganda fake 
21:16
Estonia to supply Ukraine with Mistral SAMs and missiles
More news