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Kremlin seeks control over Wagner PMC - ISW

Kremlin seeks control over Wagner PMC - ISW The Kremlin is trying to take control over the Wagner PMC (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

According to the ISW report, the Kremlin may attempt to take formal control over the Wagner PMC after its armed mutiny and convert it into a state entity.

According to experts from ISW, the Russian government has decided to take control over Wagner's activities abroad. It is reported that Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Vershinin, flew to Damascus to inform Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that the PMC would no longer operate as an independent organization in Syria and that Wagner mercenaries have arrived at a Russian military base in Latakia.

Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reportedly informed Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and the leadership of Mali that the Wagner PMC would continue its operations in their respective countries.

The nationalization of Wagner PMC will likely assist the Russian Ministry of Defense in integrating the mercenaries into the regular Armed Forces through contracts. The nationalization is unlikely to significantly disrupt its activities abroad.

Key ISW takeaways:

  • The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Ukrainian forces seized the “strategic initiative” in the Bakhmut direction and are currently conducting a broad offensive in the area.
  • Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in at least two other sectors of the front and reportedly made gains on June 29.
  • Recent satellite imagery may have detected active construction of a speculated new Wagner Group base in Asipovichy, Belarus.
  • Kremlin-affiliated businessmen may be acquiring Prigozhin’s domestic media empire, likely as part of ongoing effort to destroy his reputation in Russia.
  • Russian and Ukrainian forces continued limited ground attacks south of Kreminna.
  • Ukrainian forces intensified counteroffensive operations in the Bakhmut area and reportedly made advances.
  • Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City front.
  • Russian forces in early May constructed a dam on the outskirts of Tokmak in occupied Zaporizhia Oblast ahead of the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The leader of the Wagner PMC reached an agreement with Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko for the mercenaries to transition to field camps in Belarus. ISW believes that the agreement between Prigozhin and the Kremlin, mediated by Lukashenko, is not yet final.