A number of members of the Wagner Group, the Russian mercenary organization that launched an armed insurgency last month and withdrew a day later, have reportedly traveled to Belarus and are stationed there, according to Ukrainian and Polish officials.
“The movement of the Wagner Group has been observed and they are in Belarus,” Ukrainian border guard Andriy Demchenko said in a Telegram message on Saturday (local time), according to Reuters.
Poland has also confirmed the presence of Wagnerian mercenaries in Belarus.
“The Polish government is aware of the presence of Wagnerian mercenaries in Belarus,” acting Polish Special Coordinator Stanislaw Jarin tweeted.
As for the size of the presence, he noted that “there may be several hundred of them now.”
The Belarusian Harjun Project, an organization that monitors military activity in Belarus, also claimed that 60 vehicles believed to be carrying Wagner Group mercenaries crossed into Belarus from Russia on April 14.
The cars carrying the troops bore license plates from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a pro-Russian rebel-held region in eastern Ukraine, the group added.
That some members of the Wagner Group had entered Belarus was also recently revealed by the Belarusian Defense Ministry.
On April 14, the ministry said Wagner Group mercenaries were training Belarusian soldiers at a military area near Ashpovich, a small city about 90 kilometers southeast of the capital Minsk, and released a video of the training in which the mercenaries serve as instructors.
The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was also photographed staying at a camp of mercenaries stationed in Belarus.
The day before, the Wagner Group had posted a photo on its official Telegram channel of Prigozhin sitting in his underwear on a cot inside a tent. As he appeared to sit down to change, Prigozhin raised his hand to greet the photographer.
Prigozhin, who withdrew his mercenary group on March 24, a day after the uprising 카지노사이트넷, reportedly traveled back and forth between Belarus and Russia. Prigozhin reportedly entered Belarus on March 27 and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on March 29.
On June 6, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Prigozhin was staying in Russian locations, including St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Since then, some members of the Wagner Group have been entering Belarus, and it has been speculated that Prigozhin may be staying in their camp.