This is how the Wagner force finances the war in Ukraine

This is how the Wagner force finances the war in Ukraine
This is how the Wagner force finances the war in Ukraine

Much of the bloodiest fighting since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine has been taking place around the eastern city of Bakhmut, where thousands of ill-equipped Russian troops have been killed since late last year.

Many of those fighters were not conscripted Russian soldiers, but mercenaries recruited by the Wagner Group, a private army run by President Vladimir Putin’s longtime associate Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Prigozhin’s seemingly endless supply of fighters in Ukraine requires deep pockets, and a CBS investigation found that he largely finances his operations by operating his own private army in Africa.

Wagner uses his powers to prop up some very unsympathetic regimes in exchange for free reign to rob the precious resources of mineral-rich countries including Mali, Sudan and Libya. But in the small country of the Central African Republic (CAR) his business model has been perfected.

It wasn’t easy to convince people to talk to the American media, it wasn’t easy at all. Everyone was terrified, convinced that Loughner had eyes everywhere. One person finally agreed to be interviewed on the condition that they change their name and hide their identity. The CBS journalist made extraordinary efforts to meet him in neighboring Cameroon. Osman, as he is known, spent a day driving through military checkpoints in taxis and on the back of motorcycles to cross the border.

Osman said that the Russian mercenaries took everything from one of the poorest countries in the world. Logner has a fake alliance with the state. The payoff? Unrestricted access to the gold mines and forests, which finance the criminal and paramilitary activities of the group far beyond Africa.

“They have control over the airport and the crew,” Usman explained. “There is a cargo plane flying between Moscow and Bangui.” Bangui is the capital of the Central African Republic and its largest city. Wagner, it seems, flies the gold he steals straight to the Russian capital.

A CBS News crew secretly filmed Wagner’s cargo plane moments after it landed at the Bangui airport. He drove towards the base of the mercenary group, located near the runway. We were told that the planes usually arrive in the capital on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and no one is allowed to approach the plane. The tightest security.

A CBS news crew secretly filmed Wagner trucks leaving the military base near the capital. The convoy was protected by Russian mercenaries all the way to the border with Cameroon.

Wagner’s business model for dubious dictators eager to quell democratic dissent or quell insurgencies. All the while, Prigozhin continues to evade sanctions and rake in the billions that fund both his rapidly expanding criminal empire and his private army helping to fight Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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