Wagner mercenaries train Belarus special forces near Polish border

wagner-mercenaries-train-belarus-special-forces-near-polish-border
Wagner mercenaries train Belarus special forces near Polish border

Mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group have begun training Belarusian special forces near the border with Poland, according to the Belarusian defense ministry. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of Wagner, was seen in a video welcoming his fighters to Belarus and instructing them to gather their strength for future operations in Africa. The Belarusian defense ministry confirmed that joint training exercises with Wagner PMC were ongoing at the Brest military range. The range is located just 3 miles east of the Polish border. Pictures released by Minsk showed masked Wagner instructors training Belarusian soldiers with armored vehicles and drone controls. Poland, a member of NATO, stated that it was monitoring the situation at the border and prepared for various scenarios. The failed mutiny by Wagner on June 23-24 has been seen by the West as a challenge to President Putin’s rule and a sign of the strain caused by the Ukraine war. However, the Kremlin rejects this interpretation and asserts that the Russian people support Putin and the military. A deal was reached on June 24 for the mercenaries to move to Belarus in exchange for dropped charges against them. A senior commander claimed that up to 10,000 Wagner fighters would end up in Belarus, while 22,000 had been lost in the Ukraine war. The commander’s post also revealed that a total of 78,000 Wagner men had participated in the conflict, with 49,000 taken as prisoners. Wagner has been involved in various military operations, including the annexation of Crimea, fighting against ISIS in Syria, and operations in the Central African Republic and Mali. The post contradicted claims by a Russian lawmaker that 33,000 Wagner fighters had signed contracts with the defense ministry. The commander stated that if all the dead and those on leave had signed up, the number could be possible.

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