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Wagner Group's mercenaries acquire satellite images from Chinese company

Friday, 6 October 2023, 18:03

The Russian terrorist Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) signed a contract in 2022 with the Chinese firm Beijing Yunze Technology Co Ltd to purchase two satellites and use their images for intelligence activities.

Source: AFP, as reported by European Pravda

Details: The agency obtained a contract between Wagner PMC and a Chinese firm dated November 2022, when the terrorists played a significant role in Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.


The contract involved the acquisition of two Chinese satellites – JL-1 GF03D 12 and JL-1 GF03D 13 – orbiting at an altitude of 535 kilometres above the Earth. The cost of the services was estimated at over US$30 million.

The Russian side of the contract was signed by Ivan Mechetin, CEO of Nika-Fruit, a company that cooperated with companies affiliated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, financier of the Wagner PMC, who met his end in a plane crash in August.

An AFP source in European intelligence services said Wagner Group used the imagery to plan operations in Ukraine, Africa and even Russia during the failed coup attempt in June.

Unclear is whether the Chinese authorities were aware of the contract, which, as reported by AFP sources, is still in force. However, the US imposed sanctions on Beijing Yunze Technology Co Ltd back in February.

Background: In April, the US Department of State also imposed sanctions on Head Aerospace Technology. This organisation supplied satellite imagery of Ukraine to organisations associated with the Wagner PMC and Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Earlier, the media reported that China, despite its own calls for peace, has stepped up its dual-use trade with Russia over the past year, helping Moscow, among other things, to import sanctioned Western technologies.

US intelligence stated that China is providing Russia with military and dual-use technologies for employment in the war against Ukraine.

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