LOGIN

Russia’s Wagner Mercenaries Conduct Joint Training with Belarusian Military near Polish Border

by Michael Nguyen
0 comment
Russian mercenaries

Russia’s private military company, Wagner, commenced joint drills with the Belarusian military near the Polish border on Thursday. This collaboration follows the relocation of Wagner mercenaries to Belarus after their brief rebellion, prompting Warsaw to redeploy its troops.

According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry, the weeklong maneuvers will take place at a firing range near the border city of Brest and involve Belarusian special forces. The ministry expressed that Wagner’s combat experience would contribute to the modernization of the Belarusian military.

A video released on Wednesday featured Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, appearing for the first time since the rebellion. Prigozhin addressed his troops, stating their purpose of training the Belarusian military to make it “the second strongest army in the world” before deploying to Africa.

Apart from their involvement in Ukraine, Wagner mercenaries have been deployed to Syria and various African countries since the establishment of the private army in 2014.

During the uprising that commenced on June 23 and lasted less than 24 hours, Prigozhin’s mercenaries captured the military headquarters in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don without encountering resistance. They advanced as close as 200 kilometers (125 miles) to Moscow. The mutiny resulted in the downing of at least six military helicopters and a command post aircraft, leading to the deaths of 10 airmen.

The rebellion, dubbed a “march of justice” by Prigozhin, aimed to remove Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Staff chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov, who demanded that Wagner forces sign contracts with the Defense Ministry. Prigozhin ordered his troops back to their camps after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered a deal, offering amnesty to Prigozhin and his fighters in exchange for ending the rebellion and allowing them to relocate to Belarus.

The revolt posed a significant threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 23-year rule, exposing weaknesses in the government and undermining his authority.

Belaruski Hajun, an activist group monitoring troop movements in Belarus, reported that nine convoys with over 2,000 Wagner mercenaries have already entered the country. A Wagner commander, in a statement shared on a messaging app linked to the company, stated that approximately 10,000 Wagner troops are scheduled to be deployed to Belarus.

Satellite images from Planet Labs PBC, analyzed by The Big Big News, depicted a convoy of vehicles at the base near Tsel in the Asipovichy region of Belarus, approximately 90 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of Minsk, which had been offered to Wagner by the Belarusian authorities.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the opposition leader of Belarus who left the country after challenging Lukashenko in the disputed 2020 election, expressed concern that Wagner’s presence in Belarus would destabilize the nation and threaten its neighbors.

On Thursday, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak ordered the relocation of some troops from western Poland to Biala Podlaska, located around 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Brest, as well as Kolno, further north. Blaszczak emphasized the need to train and deter potential aggression, sending a clear message to Russia that crossing Poland’s border would not be worthwhile.

While some of the strong rhetoric may be attributed to early campaigning ahead of the expected parliamentary elections in the fall, where the ruling Law and Justice party is anticipated to lose control, the concerns raised regarding Wagner’s presence and its implications for regional stability remain significant.


Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia, and Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland, contributed to this report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Russian mercenaries, joint training, Belarusian military, Polish border

What is the purpose of the joint training between Russian Wagner mercenaries and the Belarusian military near the Polish border?

The purpose of the joint training is to conduct drills and exercises aimed at enhancing the capabilities and skills of both the Russian Wagner mercenaries and the Belarusian military. The training is taking place near the Polish border following the relocation of the Wagner mercenaries to Belarus after their short-lived rebellion. The Belarusian Defense Ministry believes that the combat experience of Wagner will contribute to the modernization of the Belarusian military.

Where will the joint training between Wagner mercenaries and the Belarusian military take place?

The joint training will be conducted at a firing range near the border city of Brest, which is situated close to the Polish border. The Belarusian Defense Ministry has chosen this location for the maneuvers involving Belarusian special forces and Wagner mercenaries.

What was the outcome of the rebellion led by Wagner mercenaries?

The rebellion led by Wagner mercenaries began on June 23 and lasted less than 24 hours. During the uprising, the mercenaries captured the military headquarters in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don without encountering resistance. They managed to advance as close as 200 kilometers (125 miles) to Moscow. The rebellion faced little resistance, resulting in the downing of military helicopters and a command post aircraft, leading to the deaths of at least 10 airmen. Eventually, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered a deal to end the rebellion, which granted amnesty to Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and his fighters, allowing them to relocate to Belarus.

How does the arrival of Wagner mercenaries in Belarus impact regional stability?

The arrival of Wagner mercenaries in Belarus has raised concerns about regional stability. Opposition leaders, such as Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, believe that the presence of these mercenaries in Belarus could lead to increased instability in the country and pose a threat to neighboring nations. The deployment of a private military company with combat experience can have significant implications for the security dynamics in the region.

Why is the Polish Defense Minister moving troops to the Polish border?

The Polish Defense Minister has decided to move some troops from western Poland to locations near the Polish border, such as Biala Podlaska and Kolno. This decision is in response to the relocation of Wagner mercenaries to Belarus and is intended to demonstrate deterrence and ensure the protection of Poland’s border. The move aims to send a clear message that crossing Poland’s border would not be a viable option and to maintain the country’s security in light of the potential threats posed by the presence of Wagner forces in the region.

More about Russian mercenaries, joint training, Belarusian military, Polish border

You may also like

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News