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Wagner mercenaries returned to front: what threat they pose?

Wagner mercenaries returned to front: what threat they pose? Wagner mercenaries return to the front (Photo: Getty Images)

Mercenaries from the Russian Wagner group have re-entered eastern Ukraine after four months. However, after the elimination of Yevgeny Prigozhin, it is unlikely that the Wagner group will restore the combat capability it had under him.

More - in the material by RBC-Ukraine titled "Fifth month of Ukraine's counteroffensive and possible threat from Wagner 2.0: Frontline overview."

"If we talk about 'Wagner 2.0,' there are between 4,000 and 5,000 of them on the occupied territories of Ukraine. They are being integrated with units of other PMCs, such as Storm Z, Lynx, Veterans, Tiger, and so on. These are the ones who couldn't find a place in Africa and went to war to make money," explained Oleksandr Musiienko to RBC-Ukraine.

Military expert Vladyslav Seleznov also doubts the significant threat from the remnants of the Wagner group.

"I don't think Wagner survived as a phenomenon after Prigozhin's elimination. Can these remnants act as effectively as they did before? My answer is no. They lack the necessary support, and the successors of Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin are unlikely to organize combat operations at a high level. Wagner's key advantage was prisoners whom they sent in large numbers on 'meat' assaults. It's unlikely that this system of subordination and formation of strike groups can be replicated in other assault units," explained the expert.

Wagner mercenaries

According to British intelligence, in recent weeks, hundreds of fighters previously associated with the Wagner group have begun to redeploy to Ukraine separately and in small groups to participate in the war as part of various Russian units.

According to the advisor to the head of the Office of the President, Mykhailo Podoliak, these remnants are filling gaps in the Bakhmut direction, and the PMC itself no longer exists.

The spokesperson for the Military Group East of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Illya Yevlash, reported that Wagner mercenaries are present in the territory of the Eastern Operational Command. Some mercenaries are renewing contracts with the Russian military and returning to Ukraine from Belarus.