A daily bulletin published on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, says the UK Ministry of Defense says Belarus is funding the Russian paramilitary group Wagner after the mutiny last June.
According to British security, Russia is against “many of the interests of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner group” after he led a rebellion that has been the biggest challenge to Vladimir Putin in government for more than two decades.
The latest security intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 13 August 2023.
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– Ministry of Defense 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 13, 2023
“There is a realistic possibility that the Kremlin is no longer funding the group,” UK Defense said.
“If the Russian government no longer pays the Wagner group, the second most reliable financiers are the Belarusian authorities”He adds, noting that this will “exhaust Belarus’ modest resources.”
The British Ministry of Defense suggested that as a result of the mutiny, the Wagner group would “undergo a process of downsizing and restructuring, mainly to save on salary costs at a time of financial pressure”.
Where are Prigogine and Wagner’s mercenaries?
The June 23 riot lasted 24 hours and ended under an agreement mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Under this agreement, the Wagner militia was transferred to Belarus.
However, the whereabouts of these mercenaries and the leader of the group, Prigozhin, are now uncertain.
After the uprising, Lukashenko said the mercenary leader was in Belarus and Prigozhin was seen in Minsk, the capital. But a few days later, in early July, Lukashenko retracted earlier reports, saying that Prigozhin was still in St. Petersburg and that “he may be in transit to Moscow or other areas.”
Since then, Wagner’s leader was last seen in late July, in St. Petersburg, during an Africa-Russia summit. Prigog was photographed shaking hands with the Central African Republic’s presidential adviser, Ambassador Freddy Mabuka.
Before that, in mid-July, a video posted on Telegram showed a man who appeared to be Yevgeny Prigogine addressing fighters from the Wagner group in Belarus, indicating that their next destination would be Africa.
A few days ago, the Pentagon announced that Wagner Group mercenaries would not support Russian troops in Ukraine “to any significant degree.”
Russian President Wagner accused the group of treason after mercenaries led by Prigozhin launched a “march for justice” against the Kremlin.
However, under the Minsk-brokered agreement that ended the riots within 24 hours, Prigozhin was guaranteed immunity and the criminal case against Wagner was dropped.
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