The Wagner mercenary group has offered fighters for rent throughout Africa and different international locations, with the Kremlin’s approval. However what’s subsequent for the worldwide community — and the international locations Wagner operates in — is unsure after the group’s founder and chief, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, was killed in a aircraft crash north of Moscow, two months after he known as off a 24-hour mutiny towards his onetime ally and benefactor, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian authorities on Sunday confirmed that Prigozhin died within the crash on Aug. 23, citing DNA testing of our bodies recovered from the positioning. Previous to his loss of life, nonetheless, many inside and out of doors of Russia have been shocked to see Prigozhin freely touring within the nation and overseas.
In June, after Prigozhin’s short-lived riot towards Russia’s army management, International Minister Sergei Lavrov provided some assurance to Wagner’s world clientele. He informed RT, a state-controlled outlet, that “instructors” and “personal army contractors” would stay in Mali and the Central African Republic, two strategic Russian and Wagner strongholds in Africa.
Prigozhin had additionally vowed to proceed main Wagner from Belarus, the place he agreed to enter exile after refusing to let Russia’s common military take in his models in Ukraine. Putin mentioned that fighters who sided with Prigozhin may go to Belarus, be part of the Russian safety forces, or head house.
However Prigozhin didn’t simply have mercenaries in Ukraine. Wagner fighters have popped up in additional than a dozen international locations over the previous 9 years, serving as safety for Russian belongings or host governments. Others have fought in battles. And Wagner mentioned in June that Prigiozhin at all times operated internationally “within the pursuits of the Russian Federation.”
Right here’s what to learn about the place Wagner Group has labored and the influence of its operations.