Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has appeared on video recruiting new fighters for deployment in Africa, just two months after launching a failed mutiny in Russia.
“PMC Wagner… makes Russia even greater on all continents, and Africa more free,” Prigozhin said in the video published late Monday by the Wagner-affiliated Telegram channel Razgruzka Vagnera.
“We’re recruiting real heroes and continue to carry out the tasks that have been set and that we promised to deal with,” he added.
It was not immediately possible to independently verify the location of Prigozhin’s video, which was set against the backdrop of a flat desert area with pickup trucks and armed men seen in the distance.
Wagner has for years been seen as an armed extension of Moscow's influence in Africa. The mercenary outfit’s fighters have been accused of committing war crimes in the countries where they have been deployed.
At the beginning of July, Wagner announced a one-month recruitment suspension in the aftermath of its botched attempt to topple Russia’s military leadership the month before.
The suspension had raised questions about the future of Wagner's operations in Africa and Syria.
In late July, Prigozhin said his military outfit “continues its activities” in Africa and Belarus, where the group was sent after its short-lived rebellion.
At the time, Prigozhin said Wagner has not yet decided when to restart the recruitment of new fighters.
His own whereabouts have been shrouded in mystery, with one post-mutiny photo showing him shaking hands with a Central African Republic official during the Russia-Africa summit last month.