Where the Wagner group is active around the world?

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After the rebellion incident which Wagner group conducted in Russia, and with all what it’s followed, a discussion about where Wagner group activates are.

Today news, revealed that Russian military police raided recruitment centers for Wagner in Syria, arresting several officers associated with the group.

Recently after it’s participation in the war in Ukraine, fact is that Wagner group isn’t limited to Ukraine only, but also extends to many countries worldwide.

Wagner is not the only Russian private military company, as a report issued by the Center for Strategic and International Studies revealed that many of these companies have been established in Russia over the past few years.

Despite the increasing talk about it, it’s difficult to track the activities of Wagner Group and other Russian private military companies accurately, because they operate independently of the Russian government and the Russian army.

However, observers say Wagner is active in more than 30 countries.

Since Russia began its military incursion into Ukraine in late February last year, Wagner Group has increasingly made headlines.

It’s noteworthy that it appeared on the international scene for the first time in 2014 in the Donbas region of Ukraine, where it supported pro-Russian groups in the face of Ukrainian forces.

Since then, the strength and spread of Wagner has increased, while the British Ministry of Defense said earlier this year that it’s certain that Wagner strength in Ukraine reaches 50,000 fighters who have become a major component of the war.

In contrast, Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin spoke of 25,000 fighters.

Wagner Group expanded its recruitment operations to include former prisoners and notorious former members and veterans of the Russian army.

While its militants played an important role in the battle to control the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, they declared victory last May with a pledge to hand over the city to the Russian army.

Wagner Group is particularly active in Africa, as it’s believed to be working for Russia in a number of countries on the continent.

Sudan is one of the African countries most affected by Russia, which has great influence, as Wagner Group has been active there for years and supports the military authorities.

Observers say that the main objective behind the stationing of Wagner elements is to secure Russia’s access to raw materials, including gold, manganese, silicon and uranium.

Former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed in 2020 while announcing sanctions against Prigozhin that Wagner’s boss and his network were taking advantage of Sudan’s natural resources for personal gain.

This coincided with the United States asserting that the St. Petersburg-based M-Invest is a Russian company linked to Prigozhin, adding that the company had obtained concessions in 2017 from the former Sudanese government to explore gold mining sites, while its members guarded Sudanese gold mines.

Wagner’s presence in Africa isn’t limited to Sudan, as it extends to Mali, where the leaders of the 2021 coup cooperated with Russian group.

While the United Nations working group on the use of mercenaries called for investigations of actions committed by Wagner militants and the Malian government forces.

A UN statement issued two years ago stated that the UN experts obtained disturbing accounts of the implementation of the armed forces and their allies in Mali, the liquidation of Merou mass graves, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearance.

The Russian ambassador to the Central African Republic said in an interview conducted last February, “There are 1,890 Russian trainers in this African country, as Wagner militants were sent to the country in the form of military advisers and trainers in tasks that included supervising the security plans of the country’s President, Faustin-Archange Touadéra.

In exchange for this support, Wagner Group obtained contracts for the extraction of natural resources such as diamonds, gold and timber.

Wagner operatives have been deployed in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, since 2019, while Wagner operatives have trained Venezuelan elite forces.

Venezuela and Russia have enjoyed strong relations for years, whether in terms of economic or military cooperation.

Russia is one of the largest creditors to the Venezuelan government, providing loans worth $17 billion since 2006.

The issue doesn’t depend on that, as Russia attaches great importance to securing oil supplies in Venezuela, which has the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

Numerous research institutions have mentioned that Wagner Group is active in Asian countries, as a report issued by the Ukrainian “Molvar” consulting company stated that 37 Russian military companies are operating abroad.

Journalistic and research investigations revealed a link between elements working for Russian military companies in countries such as Sri Lanka on the one hand, and Wagner on the other hand.

Investigations indicated that the network of communications between these entities is very complex.

As for Wagner’s activates in the middle east, Syria become on the top there, as Wagner deployed for the first time in Syria in late 2015.

Over time, Wagner militants are fighting with the Russian forces deployed in Syria.

Since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine, the Syrian arena has stagnated, as many Russian militants, including Wagner elements, were withdrawn from Middle Eastern countries in favor of the battles in Ukraine.

Experts estimate that the number of Wagner militants, at the height of their deployment in Syria, reached five thousand.

Wagner’s spread in Libya dates back to 2014, after the division, political rivalry, and internal strife that has ravaged the country since the overthrow of President Muammar Gaddafi, which resulted in the existence of two governments in the east and west of the country.

Wagner Group supports the government of eastern Libya and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the strong man in eastern Libya, as its members provide military support and training, and it participated publicly in the attack that targeted the government of western Libya in Tripoli in 2019.

However, the number of Wagner personnel deployed in Libya isn’t clear, as reports estimated the number at two thousand, but it’s remarkable that Wagner benefited from its presence in Libya to expand its operations in other countries such as Sudan.

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