For approximately a month, the Belarusian Interior Ministry has been providing new documents and alternate identities to Russian mercenaries associated with the Wagner group. Pavel Latushka, a prominent figure in the Belarusian opposition and leader of the opposition National Anti-Crisis Management, revealed this information during an interview with the Polish news agency PAP.
Based on verified information, Latushka stated that members of the Wagner group are being issued authentic Belarusian passports, but under different names. This strategy enables them to easily enter European Union territories, utilizing Schengen visas, with the intention of conducting sabotage and terrorist activities. Latushka shared this insight during an interview at the PAP Studio on Monday.
Latushka gave an example of a potential upcoming provocation, wherein illegal migrants might employ firearms at the Polish-Belarusian border, potentially inciting a local conflict.
Reports suggest that several thousand Russian mercenaries, possessing combat experience from their involvement in eastern Ukraine, including the Bakhmut region, sought refuge in Belarus. This move reportedly occurred following an alleged revolt against the Kremlin. It’s noteworthy that a portion of these mercenaries has left Belarus, presumably on temporary leave.
President Alexander Lukashenko stated on Friday that many of these mercenaries will soon return. Around 10,000 core members of the Wagner group are said to be present in Belarus for an extended duration, as per Lukashenko’s announcement. However, the actuality of this statement remains uncertain.
Some of these individuals might also be deployed on missions to Africa, a region where Russian mercenaries have been active for a prolonged period. Additionally, certain mercenaries may choose to join the regular Russian armed forces.
Latushka revealed that several hundred members of the Wagner group have entered into contracts with the Belarusian army, indicating their commitment to remain in Belarus permanently.