On June 28, 2023, the Russian media outlet Vzglyad published an article titled “How To Manage The Legacy Of The Wagner Group” about the future of the Wagner Group mercenaries after the attempted mutiny that took place few days earlier.
As many Wagner group fighter are preparing to move to Belarus, Belarusian military expert Alexander Alesin told Vzglyad that these fighters may become instructors in the Belarus Army or may provide security for Belarusian workers in Africa.
Below are excerpts from the Vzglyad article:
Central African Republic: If Wagner Troops Have To Leave The Country, Other Security Groups From Russia Are Welcome
“…The Wagner group enjoys quite a large ‘inheritance’ in Africa. As of today, the private company is present in many countries on the continent, including Mali, Central African Republic (CAR), and several other countries… [Wagner] simply keeps states from disintegrating and ensures the safety of civilians. For instance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the work of Wagner instructors in the CAR will continue.
“…In this regard, Lavrov emphasized that conjunctural issues shouldn’t influence Russia’s strategic relations with its African partners. According to him, ‘there is no panic on the ground,’ and no changes in Moscow’s relations with the countries of the African continent were recorded.
“In the CAR, by the way, the reaction to the [Wagner’s attempted] coup was calm. The authorities of the republic stated that in the event of the departure of the Wagner troops from the country, they would accept services of any other security group from Russia. ‘If Moscow decides to withdraw the Wagner PMC and send us the ‘Beethoven [Group]’ or ‘Mozart [Group]’ servicemen, and not the Wagner ones, we will welcome them,’ said Fidel Guanjika, adviser to the President of the CAR.
“…The leaderships of Russia and Belarus are facing a non-trivial task: on the one hand, it is necessary to preserve and multiply the invaluable experience of infantrymen and assault troops of the Wagner Group… On the other hand, it is important not to harm the ties and work patterns of this body in Africa and the Middle East.
“It is also important to consider the stances of the leaderships of Russia and Belarus regarding the future fate of the Wagner servicemen. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said: Wagner Group fighters have three options. The first is to sign contracts with the Defense Ministry or other security agencies. The second is to return home to their loved ones. The third is to be transferred to Belarus.”
Belarusian Military Expert Alesin: The Wagner Group Will Be Able To Protect Belarus Workers In Africa
“…Belarusian military expert Alexander Alesin told Vzglyad: ‘I believe that the Wagner Group will not take root in Belarus in the form in which it existed before June 24 [when the attempted mutiny took place]. First, our legislation does not allow for the presence of such formations in the country. In fact, from a legal perspective, representatives of this unit are [considered] members of an illegal military organization. Second, the current system of power in Belarus and the nature of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s governance are ideologically at odds with the nature of the Wagner Group. After all, it is important for us to maintain the [principles of] central subordination of the troops and a unified structure of command. Nevertheless, Minsk will try to use the potential that Wagner has. I believe that the Belarusian Armed Forces will be able to turn Wagner Group fighters into instructors. They have colossal combat experience in dozens of conflicts around the world. Naturally, their skills can be of use in training new soldiers for our state.
“‘What’s more, the Wagner Group can be used for its main function, namely, to perform certain tasks outside of Belarus. I would like to draw the attention to Africa. We are gradually increasing our presence on this continent. Let’s recall Lukashenko’s visit to Zimbabwe: back then, the president openly declared that this country would become a hub for the gradual expansion of Minsk’s influence in this part of the world. We are currently discussing with various countries of the African continent plans to set up businesses in the agricultural or engineering sectors. Naturally, the situation in Africa is turbulent: to conduct such activities without turning to security services is almost impossible. I believe the Wagner Group will be able to meet the security needs of our workers [in Africa].
“‘In this regard, I would like to note that Minsk will not claim the achievements that the Wagner Group reached before 2023 in the interests of Russia. After all, we are allied states. To quarrel about Wagner achievement is pointless. Moscow’s position will certainly be considered, and the development of the African continent will largely be carried out jointly.’
‘Russian Africa’ Has A ‘Promising Future’
“Military expert Alexander Artamonov said: ‘At the moment there is no need to worry about Russia’s position in Africa. First, Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken about the importance of separating the rank-and-file soldiers of the Wagner Group from some of its leaders engaged in covert scheming and intrigues. Soldiers who served in CAR are not in danger. These guys have proved themselves to be excellent fighters, serving faithfully the interests of their Fatherland. To take any action against them would be foolish. I believe they will continue their deployment in Africa. Perhaps the name of their organization will be changed, or the government will come up with new forms of cooperation with them.
“‘Second, the Wagner Group was an important tool in terms of interacting with the continent in the field of security, but by no means the only one. For instance, now there is an active deliberation on the construction of a Russian military base in Sudan. I doubt that this would be done by representatives of a private organization. We must not forget that, until recently, the Wagner Group was not engaged in training most of its fighters. The company was employing soldiers, who had undergone years of training in other structures, such as the [Russian] Ministry of Defense. In this regard, the reformatting of the Wagner Group will not cause much of a problem in terms of personnel policy.
“‘Third, our cooperation with Africa is not limited to security alone. A Russia-Africa summit will be held soon, where the leaders of the countries will certainly discuss energy and economic issues. The African continent needs geological exploration, the development of uranium mining, and other technologies. We can and are ready to help it in this task. Besides, France is currently leaving the region. A window of opportunity is opening, and it would be a crime not to take advantage of it. Moreover, China is gradually entering [Africa] and we will be able to work on serious joint projects. In general, the ‘Russian Africa’ has a promising and surprisingly interesting future.”
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10680, Russian Anti-Liberal Philosopher Dugin On Prigozhin’s Armed Insurrection: Putin’s Entourage Failed To Counter A Direct Challenge, Russia Needs A New ‘Ideologized Elite’, June 26, 2023.
 Reuters.com/world/europe/wagner-fighters-preparing-move-belarus-commander-cited-2023-07-08/, July 8, 2023.
 Vz.ru/society/2023/6/28/1218561.html, June 28, 2023. The article was written by Evgeny Pozdnyakov.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10681, Russian President Putin: ‘The Majority Of Wagner Group Soldiers And Commanders Are Also Russian Patriots’, June 27, 2023.
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10689, Russian President Vladimir Putin: ‘All Of The Funding The Wagner Group Received Came From The State’, June 30, 2023.
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