When Wagner fighters were advancing on Moscow in an attempted rebellion in late June, the authorities in Syria and Russian military commanders there were taking a series of quick measures and actions against PMG agents to prevent the rebellion from spreading, according to six sources familiar with the matter.
The sources said that the crackdown, which has not been reported before, included cutting phone lines, summoning about 10 Wagner commanders to a Russian military base, and ordering the group’s fighters to sign new contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry or leave Syria immediately.
Among the sources that disclosed these events were Syrian security officials, sources stationed near Russian forces in Syria, and regional officials.
The sources declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the military information.
Fears of dispersal of Moscow’s focus
The Syrian government, the Russian Defense Ministry or Wagner in Russia did not respond to requests for comment.
These measures reveal how the Syrian authorities moved quickly to control the fighters, out of fear that Moscow, Damascus’ main military partner, would be distracted by the events taking place inside Russia, according to two Syrian sources familiar with the operations.
Mystery about Prigozhin’s whereabouts
In addition, ambiguity dominated during the past hours about the whereabouts of Wagner commander Yevgeny Prigozhin, especially after the statements of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who said that Prigozhin is not in Belarus, but rather in St. Petersburg.
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