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10K Wagner Fighters Expected in Belarus

A campsite in Belarus for Wagner fighters. Alexander Nemenov / AFP

Russia’s Wagner mercenary outfit expects to deploy around 10,000 fighters in neighboring Belarus after its failed mutiny last month, a Wagner-affiliated Telegram channel said late Wednesday.

Another 15,000 Wagner fighters “have already gone on vacation,” said the channel Razgruzka Vagnera (“Unloading Wagner”), citing a senior commander by only his call sign Marx.

The channel previously published footage of the closure of Wagner’s base in southern Russia, saying the outfit had plans to leave for “new areas of deployment.”

Monitoring groups have tracked several convoys of Wagner vehicles heading toward a Belarusian field camp some 90 kilometers southeast of Minsk in the weeks following Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s aborted mutiny.

Marx disclosed figures revealing the mercenary group’s total losses during its campaign in Ukraine.

“Here’s the real math — a total of 78,000 PMC Wagner were sent on the Ukrainian mission, of which 49,000 were prisoners,” Marx said.

“At the time of the capture of Bakhmut, 22,000 fighters were killed and 40,000 wounded,” he added.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the figures.

Earlier Wednesday, Razgruzka Vagnera published a video showing Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin addressing his fighters in Belarus.

In the nighttime footage, Prigozhin’s vowed to make the Belarusian military “the world’s second-strongest army.” 

“If needed, we’ll stand up for them,” Prigozhin said, confirming Minsk’s statements that Wagner would train Belarus’ territorial defense forces.

Prigozhin slammed Russia’s military leadership and called the current battlefield conditions “a disgrace.”

He said Wagner could return to fight in Ukraine if Russia’s military “won’t force us to shame ourselves” and outlined plans for the mercenary group’s further deployment in Africa.

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