A group linked to the mercenaries of the Wagner Group shared a recording on Telegram in which Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen in Belarus. It was registered in the twilight, in the field. As described by the BBC, in the recording Prigozhin described the recent events on the front line in Ukraine as “a disgrace”. The head of the Wagner Group is also supposed to suggest that the fighters may return to the front at a later time.
“The video seems to corroborate the statement Belarusaccording to which the Wagnerians are now military instructors for the Belarusian army,” writes the BBC. British journalists pointed out that this would be the first video of Yevgeny Prigozhin since he started the rebellion in Russia at the end of June.
As reported, the BBC verification section is “confident that the layout of the tents, trees and buildings matches the location on the western edge of the camp” in Belarus.
Despite the low light in the recording, Prigozhin can be recognized by his silhouette, and Russian-speaking specialists familiar with his previous statements believe that it is his voice and manner of speaking, writes the BBC.
In the recording, Prigozhin is supposed to say that the mercenaries “fought a worthy fight” on Ukraine and “did a lot” for Russia. He is also to sharply criticize the current course of the Russian invasion.
“What is happening on the front line right now is a disgrace that we do not want to be part of and we must wait until we can fully show our character,” it was quoted as saying.
The head of the Wagner Group was also to declare that “a decision was made to stay in Belarus for some time”, and that the militants would use him to make the Belarusian army “the second army in the world”.
Prigozhin also hinted that the mercenaries might return to the Ukrainian front “when they are sure that they will not be forced to embarrass themselves and their experience.”
On June 24, the Wagnerians occupied the headquarters of the Russian army in Rostov-on-Don, and then began to advance towards Moscow. The mercenary chief Prigozhin, long at odds with the part of the Russian military establishment commanding the invasion of Ukraine, demanded “restore justice” in the army and remove the defense minister from power Sergey Shoigu.
The Belarusian editorial office of Radio Svoboda reported on Wednesday that about 500 units of equipment, including passenger cars, trucks and buses, were observed in the territory of the mercenary field camp near the village of Osipowicze. No heavy military equipment is visible in the satellite image analyzed by journalists.
Since July 11, six columns of Wagner mercenary vehicles have arrived in Belarus.
The first information about the possible assignment of the Wagner Group to Belarus was published by the Russian independent media at the end of June. They predicted that about 8,000 mercenaries would be stationed in the Mogilev region, in the Osipowicz region. There is a recently abandoned and then hastily renovated base in the village of Cel – a former military base of the Belarusian missile forces.
Main photo source: Reuters/Telegram/Razgruzka Wagner