The dreaded Wagnerians will withdraw from Ukraine. List of countries where they could appear

One of the most feared Russian units fighting in the war in Ukraine is Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army called the Wagnerians. Mainly due to the fact that he absolutely does not care about his own losses. But Prigozhin announced that he would withdraw his army and concentrate on Africa, where the Wagnerites had previously operated. Oxford University professor Samuel Ramani has compiled a list of countries that the Wagnerians will probably focus on now.

There were many disputes between Prigozhin and the command of the Russian army about the supply of ammunition, the recruitment of mercenaries among the Wagnerites and the burial of the fallen in Russia. According to Bloomberg, Prigozhin now got angry and should have announced that he would withdraw his private army from Ukraine and instead send it to Africa, where it was involved in a number of conflicts before the war. Smaller units of the Wagnerites operate in African countries even now, even though the main forces have concentrated on Ukraine.

A leading expert on Russia and its involvement in conflicts in Africa, Samuel Ramani, who also wrote a book about it, now compiled an overview of countries, in which the Wagnerites will apparently significantly strengthen their activities. According to him, the Wagnerians will be hired by the local authoritarian regimes.

According to Oxford professor Ramani, one of the countries where the Wagnerites will probably focus their attention is Libya. Even after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, approximately two thousand of Prigozhin’s mercenaries remain there. It suits Russia to prevent the export of Libyan oil to the EU, and it is annoyed by the attitude of the new Libyan government, which is very critical of it on the issue of Ukraine.

​Another of the countries where the Wagnerians could be more involved is Sudan. There, their members guard the gold mines, and gold smuggling is also a source of finance for the war in Ukraine. In addition, Russia wants to build a base in the country on the coast of the Red Sea.

Will the Wagnerians replace Bohemia?

The Czech army also has rich experience with another country that is in the sights of the Wagnerites. It’s about Mali, where Czech soldiers participated in a European Union mission that was supposed to train local soldiers fighting religious extremists. But the regime in Mali has recently begun to rely more precisely on the Wagnerites, who are suspected of committing war crimes in the country. At the beginning of February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also came to confirm the partnership with the military junta in Mali.

“The fourfold increase in the number of victims and the inability to control the gold mines cast a bad light on Russia, so reinforcements may come in handy,” he summarized the possible expansion of the Wagner engagement in Mali Ramani.

The Russian private army could also want to strengthen its role in Burkina Faso. In the south of the country, according to neighboring Ghana, the Russians have the rights to extract minerals, although the government of Burkina Faso denies this. Moreover, it is another country where they turned their backs on former colonists from France and created a power vacuum.

​Ramani sees room for Wagner’s group also in Sierra Leone whether in Ivory Coast. There, too, they might want to replace the French. “The Wagners are helping the FACT rebels in their efforts to destabilize Chad and assassinate Mahamat Deby (president of Chad, note ed.). Regime change would be a big boost for Russia, because Niger is firmly entrenched in the Western camp,” wrote Ramani. The Wagners have lost positions in the Central African Republic with the war in Ukraine, but there is an opportunity for them to stick in. Cameroonwhich has a security treaty with Russia and anti-French sentiment is growing there as well.

“Although the Wagners have a poor track record in counter-insurgency and have a record of war crimes, they are a useful tool for authoritarian regimes in Africa. So their departure from Ukraine will certainly not mean the global end of the group,” Ramani thinks.

According to the Russian, the war in Ukraine does not suit China, more in the interview: