After the Ministry of Defense in Minsk announced that it plans to conduct joint military exercises between its army andWagner ElementsA monitoring group reported that a large convoy carrying fighters from Russia’s special military group entered Belarus from Russia on Saturday morning.
Ukrainian and Polish officials said that Wagner fighters had already entered Belarus for the purpose of training, while Andriy Demchenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Border Agency, confirmed this when he wrote in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging application, “Wagner is in Belarus.”
In light of these developments, the question remains:
What are Wagner fighters doing in Belarus?
It seems that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was serious when he announced last month that Minsk might take advantage of Wagner’s expertise and experience to train its fighters, announcing that he had offered the fighters an “abandoned military unit” to set up a camp.
The Ministry of Defense in Belarus published a video clip showing what it said were Wagner fighters training soldiers from
Belarus is in a military zone near the town of Asipovichi, about 90 km southeast of the capital, Minsk.
While Kiev confirmed monitoring the movements of “separate groups” from Russia in Belarus.
Two sources close to the fighters said that some Wagner operatives have been in Belarus since at least Tuesday, according to Reuters.
In turn, Deputy Minister of Special Services Coordinator in Poland Stanislav Zarin stressed that Warsaw also has confirmations of the presence of Wagner fighters in Belarus.
“There could be several hundred of them at the moment,” he added on Twitter.
This comes after Poland confirmed earlier this month that it is strengthening its borders with Belarus to face any potential threats.
60 trucks, buses and vans
It is noteworthy that the independent “Belarusian Hagun” group, which tracks the movements of the armed forces in Belarus, announced that at least 60 trucks, buses and large vehicles crossed into the eastern European country, accompanied by the Belarusian police.
The group did not provide pictures or video clips of the vehicles, but made it clear that they were carrying plates from the regions of eastern Ukraine that have come under Russian control, and where Wagner fighters fought among the Russian forces until the time of the failed rebellion last month.
The convoy also headed towards a military base outside Osipovichi, a town 230 kilometers north of the Ukrainian border, according to the Belarusian Hagon.
In a related context, satellite images analyzed by the Associated Press this month showed rows of tent-like structures that appeared to have been erected at the base between June 15 and 30.
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