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21 Aug, 2023 18:33

Wagner boss announces major move ‘to make Russia greater’

The group is working to make Africa “even more free,” Evgeny Prigozhin said in an address apparently filmed on the continent
Wagner boss announces major move ‘to make Russia greater’

The Wagner private military company is continuing to recruit and is working hard “to make Russia even greater,” the head of the group, Evgeny Prigozhin, has said in a new video address. He added that Wagner is also seeking to help Africa become “even more free.”  

The short video emerged online on Monday and was apparently filmed in Africa. The PMC boss was armed and dressed in military garb while standing in a savannah-like landscape, with multiple armed men and gun trucks visible in the background.

“The Wagner Group conducts reconnaissance and search activities. Making Russia even greater on all continents! And Africa even more free. Justice and happiness for all the African peoples,” Prigozhin stated, adding that the group has been pursuing “ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other bandits.”

Wagner is hiring “real heroes,” the PMC boss said, claiming that it continues “to fulfill the tasks that were set and to which we made a promise that we could handle.” Prigozhin did not elaborate on the specific nature of those tasks, or the people who had set them. It was also not immediately clear exactly when or where the address had been recorded.

The address comes after around two months of silence from the Wagner chief. Prigozhin had been active on social media prior to the botched insurrection launched by the PMC in late June, amid a dispute with the Russian Defense Ministry. The PMC ended up being re-deployed to Russia’s closest ally, Belarus, under a deal facilitated by President Alexander Lukashenko. 

Over the past few weeks, Poland has repeatedly sounded the alarm over Wagner’s presence in Belarus, even claiming that its contractors tried to breach the border. Minsk has firmly rejected the allegations of Wagner’s purported activities, with Lukashenko claiming Warsaw had “gone mad” with all the speculation surrounding the PMC.