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Wagnerians remain in Belarus impacting Ukraine: British intelligence

Wagnerians remain in Belarus impacting Ukraine: British intelligence Photo: less than a thousand Wagnerians remain in Belarus (Getty Images)

Fewer than a thousand militants from the Wagner Private Military Company remain in Belarus. This plays into the hands of the Kremlin and has an impact on Ukraine, reports the UK Ministry of Defense.

"It is highly likely that fewer than 1,000 Russian Wagner mercenaries remaining in Belarus. They have been present in the country since June 2023, at which point there were 8,000 Wagner mercenaries," the message says.

British intelligence notes that the Wagnerians continue to train Belarusian military personnel. It is unlikely that the leader of the Belarusian regime, Alexander Lukashenko, will use Wagner mercenaries beyond their competence.

Most likely, the militants are involved in preparing the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but are unlikely to be associated with internal or border security in Belarus.

The continued presence of Wagner mercenaries in Belarus almost certainly also benefits Russia's war effort by compelling Ukraine to maintain defensive positions and personnel along its northern border with Belarus to protect against potential future incursions," emphasizes British intelligence.

Rebellion and death of Prigozhin

In June 2023, former Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin organized a rebellion against the Russian military leadership. He headed towards Moscow, but never reached the Russian capital.

Prigozhin's rebellion lasted just over a day. Following this, the Wagner PMC was effectively disbanded, and some militants were sent to Belarus, along with Prigozhin himself.

On August 23, a plane crashed in the Tver region of Russia. Later, it was revealed to be a business jet crash, and the Russian aviation authority reported that among the passengers was Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, as well as commanders and fighters of his PMC.

Subsequently, on August 27, the Russian Investigative Committee officially confirmed Prigozhin's death in the plane crash.

The deceased leader of Wagner PMC was secretly buried at the Prokhorovsky Cemetery in St. Petersburg, with the farewell supposedly taking place in a closed format.