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One year on from Yevgeny Prigozhin's mutiny, BBC News Russian reveals where Wagner mercenaries are now

Friday, 21 June 2024, 19:33
One year on from Yevgeny Prigozhin's mutiny, BBC News Russian reveals where Wagner mercenaries are now
Stock photo: Getty Images

Former mercenaries from the Wagner Private Military Company are currently deployed in Syria, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Ukraine, serving in the Akhmat unit loyal to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, BBC News Russian has found. [The Chechen Republic, also known as Chechnya, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation; the Ukrainian parliament has recognised it as the temporarily Russian-occupied territory of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria – ed.]

Source: BBC News Russian

Details: The BBC noted that Wagner mercenaries are known to have been present in Syria since 2015, but they now operate under the control of Russia's Ministry of Defence. According to one former Wagner commander, the offer presented to them was straightforward: "Either join the Ministry of Defence or **** *** [go away]."


The BBC reports that Wagner mercenaries in some African countries have now joined the Africa Corps, having signed contracts with the Russian Defence Ministry. Until the summer of 2024, the Central African Republic was the only country where the Wagner Group continued to operate in its traditional format.

The mercenaries' operations in the CAR are reportedly led by Pavel Prigozhin, son of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the late Wagner financier. "Moscow has given the heir the go-ahead to continue doing what his father did in Africa, on condition that it does not contradict Russia's interests," a source who used to work with Yevgeny Prigozhin says.

In addition, Apti Alaudinov, the commander of the Akhmat special forces unit, said at the end of October 2023 that former Wagner mercenaries were joining his units and heading to Ukraine to fight.


Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov gave a specific number, claiming that over 170 former mercenaries had joined Akhmat. However, BBC sources said no more than 50 people actually joined.

Background: On 23 June 2023, Yevgeny Prigozhin, being at odds with Russia's senior political and military leadership, attempted to carry out an armed rebellion and moved his forces towards the Russian city of Rostov. A month later, on 23 August, Prigozhin and his closest aide Dmitry Utkin were killed when an Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino, Tver Oblast.

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