Where In The World Is The Wagner Group Active?
In EuropeSince the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Wagner Group has increasingly appeared in headlines. The mercenary organization was first spotted in 2014, in the Donbas region of Ukraine, where it supported pro-Russian separatists. Since then the private army has steadily grown. "Wagner almost certainly now commands up to 50,000 fighters in Ukraine and has become a key component of the Ukraine campaign," the UK's Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter earlier this year. Prigozhin himself recently talked about just 25,000 fighters.
The Wagner Group has recruited extensively in Russia's penal system and senior leaders include disgraced former members of the Russian military. In Ukraine, the mercenaries played an important role in the battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and declared victory there in May, saying they would hand the territory over to the regular Russian military.
(5/5) Wagner almost certainly now commands up to 50,000 fighters in Ukraine and has become a key component of the Ukraine campaign. The registration likely aims to maximise Prigozhin’s commercial gain and to further legitimise the increasingly high-profile organisation.— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) January 20, 2023