Wagner militia boss Yevgeny Prigojine released an unidentifiable video on Wednesday in which he said his mercenaries would no longer fight in Ukraine but in Africa. The paramilitary group is already present in several countries on the continent.
Yevgeny Prigojine, the commander of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, which led an aborted mutiny in Moscow in late June, announced that his men will no longer fight in Ukraine but that their activities will be concentrated in Africa, according to a video – impossible to identify – will be broadcast on Wednesday, July 19, on the group’s Telegram channel.
The Wagner militia is already present in several African countries, including Mali, Libya and the Central African Republic, and its soldiers have previously been deployed in Syria.
Before its intervention in Ukraine, where it notably led to the capture of the city of Bakhmout after a bloody siege of several months, the paramilitary group had already helped the Russian army annex the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, often vocal with the Russian Ministry of Defense for its treatment of Wagner’s fighters, launched a mutiny on June 23 that ended the next day with an agreement with the Kremlin in which Wagner’s commander and some of his troops were allowed to take to Belarus.
Call to behave well with the locals
Since then, there has been doubt as to the whereabouts of Evguéni Prigojine, reported for a period in Saint Petersburg.
Reuters could not confirm the authenticity of the document, filmed at night, in which a man with the silhouette and voice similar to Yevgeny Prigojine welcomes Wagner’s fighters “on Belarusian soil”.
“We fought with honor. You did a lot for Russia. What is happening on the front lines is a disgrace we need not take part in,” he told a group of men.
In the video, Yevgeny Prigojine asks his men to behave well with the local population, to carry out the training of the Belarusian army and gather their forces for “a new trip to Africa”. “Maybe one day we will resume the special military operation if we are sure that we will not be forced to cover ourselves in shame,” he adds, referring to the term used by Moscow to describe the offensive in Ukraine, condemned as an invasion. of Kiev and the West.