February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

"Wagner": millions from Africa for the war in Ukraine

The Wagner Group is expanding mining projects in the Central African Republic to, among other things, finance the war against Ukraine.

According to edition Politico, citing a cable from the US government and a Western official, said the PMC has significantly expanded mining in the CAR over the past year, and the company’s profits could rise to a billion dollars a year. These funds are likely to be spent by Wagner on the purchase of weapons and the hiring of soldiers.

Back in 2018, the military company agreed with the CAR government to develop the Ndassima gold deposit. Now the mine has turned into a large-scale complex, consisting of 8 production zones – this is stated in the telegram of the US government. According to the United States, the PMC is currently helping to build a facility there for long-term operation, and has also strengthened the mine by placing truck-mounted anti-aircraft guns at key sites of the mining enterprise. Associate Research Fellow for the Transnational Threats Project at the DC Center for Strategic and International Studies, Katrina Doxey, notes:

“These actions indicate long-term plans for the mine. The fact that they are creating an expanded mining operation <…> I think indicates how integrated they are with the local military and the level of dependence on them of the CAR government.”

The telegram also notes that the Central African Republic has so far refused to grant UN peacekeepers who are in the country permission to fly over the mine of unmanned aerial vehicles. Several of them even came under fire from the country’s army. US officials see this as a sign that Wagner is gaining political control in the country. The publication quotes:

“The US estimate is that the group is helping to develop the facility for long-term operation and has strengthened the mine by building bridges at river crossings and installing anti-aircraft guns on trucks at key points. The National Security Council declined to comment. The State Department said in an email that the US is using ” numerous ways to counter the illegal transnational activities of the Wagner group. “This includes sanctions against Prigozhin and the Wagner network.”

Politico notes that mining creates a channel for financing Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In November 2018, Bloomberg found out that Wagner PMC mercenaries are working in ten African countries – in Sudan, the Central African Republic, Libya, Zimbabwe, Angola and others. In exchange for the right to extract minerals, they protect high-ranking officials, train the military, and also help organize election campaigns.

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