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Wagner may be preparing a new stage of return to Russia

Aug 11, 2023

Mercenaries of PMC "Wagner" continue to maintain a presence at bases in Belarus, while the movement back to the territory of the Russian Federation may be carried out in several stages. At the same time, the status of the expected departure of a certain number of fighters remains unclear.


This was stated by analysts of the Institute for the Study of War, which reports RBC-Ukraine regarding the ISW report.

Experts drew attention to the fact that satellite images taken on August 9 show a significant number of cars in the Wagner camp in Tsil (Osypovichi district) in Belarus. The footage may even indicate that more vehicles arrived at the base between August 1 and August 9.

Ukrainian sources continue to report on the expansion of the activities of the "Wagner" group in the Brest region, and on August 10, a source associated with the "Wagners" published footage showing that the instructors of this PMC continue to train Belarusian military personnel.

A source connected to the Wagner PMC reinforced the company's alleged mercenary's denial, in which the militant said the speculation was "fantasy", although he admitted that many Wagnerites themselves often do not find out about their deployment until the last moment.

At the same time, the analysts of the Institute for the Study of War did not find countersigns that would refute the recent assumptions from August 8 that the "Wagner" PMC delivered from 500 to 600 mercenaries by bus from Belarus to Russia's Krasnodar Krai, Voronezh, and Rostov Oblasts.

Russian sources have suggested that the Wagner Group plans to conduct the second stage of its planned withdrawal from Belarus on August 13, but a small group of instructors from this PKK will remain in Belarus to train the Belarusian military.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the "Wagner" PMC, has not yet commented on these assumptions either directly or through intermediaries, as he did before. This can be explained by the fact that "Putin's cook" may not have complete freedom to comment on the future of the "Wagners", the report says.

ISW noted that Prigozhin was last seen publicly on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Economic Humanitarian Forum in St. Petersburg on July 27, and he last commented on the future of the PMC in an audio recording published on July 30, in which he claimed that "Wagnerians who do not sign contracts from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, will arrive in Belarus by August 5.

According to ISW, the rumors about the departure of the Wagner PMC from Belarus suggest that the Kremlin may be violating the terms of the agreement brokered by the self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, that ended the mercenary uprising on June 24.

"Kremlin-connected sources renewed attacks on Prigozhin in early August, and the assumption itself may be part of an information operation aimed at degrading Prigozhin's position among the fighters of the Wagner PMC or for another purpose," the publication says.

Author - Serhii Kolomiets, 11/08/2023

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