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News > Russia

Wagner Group Head Prigozhin Is in Belarus, Lukashenko Confirms

  • Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin, June 26, 2023.

    Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin, June 26, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @MichelGuenette3

Published 27 June 2023

"We will assist you if you want to spend some time here, naturally at your own expense," the Belarusian president said.

On Tuesday, President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed that Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner paramilitary group, is currently in Belarus.


Russian President Lays Out Options for Wagner Soldiers

The Kremlim-Wagner agreement to quell the military uprising foresaw the cancellation of the armed rebellion charges against Prigozhin in exchange for his departure to Belarus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered the mercenaries the option to go to the neighboring country or sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry or other security agencies to operate under legal and official structures.

"As promised, we will assist you if you want to spend some time here, naturally at your own expense," Lukashenko said, suggesting that the exile of Prigozhin and his mercenaries might be only temporary.

The Belarusian leader also highly valued the capabilities of the Russian mercenaries, expressing agreement with Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Jrenin, who stated that he "wouldn't mind having them" in his Army.

However, Lukashenko denied that his administration is building camps for the Wagner troops. If they desire, "we will accommodate them in abandoned military facilities where they can set up tents." He pointed out that the remaining Wagner mercenaries in Lugansk want to "be with their families" after spending 16 months in combat in Ukraine.

Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus will not open recruitment centers for Wagner. Moreover, the Russian mercenaries will not guard the tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus.

"The Poles and others think that Wagner will guard the nuclear weapons... It's our task. And first and foremost, I am personally responsible for the security of these weapons... We have enough people who can protect this facility along with the Russians," he emphasized.

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