During the war in Ukraine, the Wagner Group continues to weave its web in Africa

During the war in Ukraine, the Wagner Group continues to weave its web in Africa

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19th century wagnerI Century is known for its warlike music. Contemporary Wagner in fatigues and sunglasses conquers Africa. Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder, preceded by propagandists and chased by smugglers, he obeys the Kremlin in a wartime rush to gain support on the international scene.

For eleven months, the frantic use of “cannon fodder” fighters for the Ukrainian theater has not forced the group led by Yevgeny Prigogine to reduce the number of its mercenaries stationed abroad. In 2022, the businessman, a former criminal, sought to strengthen his presence in African countries and beyond.

with mixed results. Prudent in Mali, forward-looking in the Central African Republic, announced in Burkina Faso but reducing its sails in Libya and Syria, skipping Serbia as it gets there, the Wagner Group is opportunistic, like Russian diplomacy that matches its interests Is .

“Wagner’s business model is hunting and direct state funding. Predation also makes it possible to finance its operations in Europe”, observes a French military source, group, she says, “Doesn’t affect the security situation: it’s very bad in Mali. But it isolates the leaders. Russia is destabilizing Africa because it can help manage the conflict in Europe. United The rallying of African voices in the nation not to condemn is also interesting for them. A game of strategic importance between two continents”,

a private group operating outside any legal framework

This prospect worries Western countries. On January 26, the US Treasury placed six individuals and twelve entities linked to the Wagner Group under sanctions, qualifying “International Criminal Organization” , affiliated with the Kremlin, His contribution to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not the only reason. “Wagner personnel have engaged in a sustained pattern of serious criminal activity in the Central African Republic and Mali, including mass executions, rape, child abduction and physical abuse”US Treasury notes.

The war in Ukraine has brought about a change in scale for the Russian military company, which at the end of 2021 had 9,000 troops across all countries. After mass recruitment in 2022, it would employ around 50,000 soldiers in Ukraine alone – of which 40,000 were inducted. Court. Its arsenal includes tanks, helicopters and fighter jets. All were assigned to a private group operating outside any legal framework, demonstrating the closeness between Yevgeny Prigogine and Vladimir Putin.

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