The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has published documents belonging to mercenaries from the Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner which confirm that it is a secret detachment of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).
“Russia continues to lie shamelessly, trying to justify its crimes committed throughout the world. The Kremlin doesn’t stop ‘shouting’ that its GRU armed divisions are not protecting dictator regimes in Sudan and Syria, and were not involved in the killing of journalists in the Central African Republic, who were trying to shed light on their ‘classified’ activity,” the SBU said in a statement on its official website.
On 25 January the SBU published materials which it claims prove that Russian mercenaries and weapons are being sent to Sudan and other countries in the region in Russian military aircraft commissioned by LLC M Invest, a company belonging to Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as “Putin’s Chef”. Furthermore, it was through M Invest that tickets were booked for these flights by Russia’s 223rd Flight Unit for “passengers” – PMC Wagner employees.
“Between August and December 2018, Tu-154M aircraft (tail numbers RA-85041 and RA-85155) were used transfer 1,012 ‘they-are-not-theres’ (soldiers whose presence Russia denies) to Sudan, the Central African Republic and other African countries on a rotation basis. Today, the SBU possesses their tickets, serial and passport information,” the SBU stated.
The SBU also published the first list of 149 people who had been directly involved in suppressing democratic protests in Sudan at the start of 2019.
“An analysis of the passport data of more than 1,000 PMC Wagner employees attests that the overwhelming majority of the Russian mercenaries’ documents were made in a centralized manner in Moscow by a division of Russia’s Federal Migration Service, which also issued cover-up documents for the GRU officers “Petrov” and “Boshirov” who carried out the chemical attack in Salisbury, England. The passport numbers of several hundred ‘Wagnerites’ also differ only by the last digits. The series and number of the PMC Wagner mercenaries’ passports, as well as the place they were made, once again confirm that it is a secret detachment of GRU freelance killers. All that remains is to hear from Russian officials exactly which ‘steeple’ they were visiting in Sudan or the Central African Republic,” said SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak.
The SBU also established that citizens of other countries – Belarus, Moldova and the Russia-backed Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” – have been sent as part of the PMC Wagner’s African rotations.
“In addition, the available information attests to a targeted recruitment for the Sudan « business trip » of Ukrainian traitors from among the inhabitants of temporarily occupied Crimea, who have received Russian citizenship as a reward for collaborating with the Russian aggressor. It has also been established that one of the ways the PMC Wagner is replenished is through the Russian intelligence service recruiting the close relatives of Russian mercenaries. Overall, the SBU has documented more than 112 people for whom the « Russian blood business » has become a family business,” the SBU said.
The SBU says that more than 90% of the African mercenary contingent also took part in military aggression against Ukraine between 2014 and 2015, most notably in the assaults on the Luhansk airport and the city of Debaltseve.
According to the SBU, Russia has also been working since 2018 to establish its own naval logistics point in Sudan with the help of former Ukrainian naval officers who defected to the Russian occupiers in the spring of 2014 and are now serving in the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet.
PMC Wagner has been linked to the Russian restaurant tycoon Yevgeny Prigozhin, who also owns one of Russia’s largest media holdings which evolved from the “Troll Factory”.
© 2019 UAWire
Sahel-Elite Photo: Russian mercenaries