Yevgeny Prigozhin, the prominent figure behind Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, spoke out through a video released on Monday, shedding light on their efforts to foster freedom in Africa.
Notably, Prigozhin, once a key ally of the Kremlin, now leads a faction that diverged from Russia’s military leadership earlier in the year, leading to limited public appearances.
A significant military presence is maintained by the group across Africa, having formed alliances with nations such as Mali and the Central African Republic.
In a video where Prigozhin is seen holding an assault rifle against a backdrop of a vast desert plain dotted with military vehicles, he declares, “We are actively engaged in reconnaissance and search operations, working diligently in temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) – conditions we thrive in.”
However, the authenticity of the video could not be immediately confirmed by AFP.
Prigozhin’s statement further emphasizes the Wagner Group’s objective: to elevate Russia’s influence across continents, thereby contributing to Africa’s liberation. This declaration arrives at a time when unrest prevails in Niger following a recent coup that ousted the government, paving the way for a military junta.
Interestingly, a Russian organization linked with the Wagner Group shared a communication, allegedly from Prigozhin, attributing the turmoil in Niger to the nation’s struggle against historical “colonizers.” This statement adds a layer of complexity to the group’s activities and motivations on the African continent.
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