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Humiliated Putin ‘struggling to take full control of mercenary Wagner troops’

Wagner troops shot down a Russian ‘special mission’ plane

Vladimir Putin is “struggling to take full command” of Wagner forces in Ukraine and other parts of the world, after the mercenaries’ attempt to stage a coup in Russia.

According to sources of the Middle East Eye, “it would take at least a year for the [Russian] defence ministry to get hold of the situation amid a lingering war in Ukraine that has heavily strained the Russian military, industry, and bureaucracy”.

On June 23, the Wagner Group shockingly launched a rebellion against their very own military leaders, embarking on a bold march from Ukraine straight towards the heart of Moscow.

Just as tensions reached a boiling point and the Wagner fighters came within striking distance of the Russian capital, an unexpected agreement was hastily struck.

The leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was granted a safe passage to Belarus, and in exchange, the mutiny was to be quelled.

READ MORE: Putin ‘undermined’ by Lukashenko as Wagner chief ‘absolutely free’ in Russia

But on Thursday (July 6), Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that Prigozhin had mysteriously journeyed back to the bustling streets of St. Petersburg.

Wagner’s influence stretches far beyond Ukraine, boasting a considerable force of fighters not only in that region but also in Syria, Libya, Sudan, Mali, the Central African Republic, and various other locations.

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The organisation’s reach extends to thousands of troops and operatives deployed across these diverse regions.

“The organisation naturally has become more cautious due to the friction with the Russian military command and intelligence over the Ukraine war during the past 11 months,” one source familiar with Wagner’s internal dynamics told MEE.

Insider speculations suggest that certain factions within Wagner, driven by Russian nationalist and radical right-wing ideologies, have reportedly abandoned the company following Prigozhin’s decision to relocate to Belarus and dissolve his business operations.

Nonetheless, the majority of Wagner forces find themselves compelled to maintain cooperation with the Russian military, primarily due to a lack of viable alternatives. Their limited options leave them with little choice but to continue working in tandem with the established military structure.

“Prigozhin started to march to Moscow with only 2,000 soldiers, the bulk of the combatant force didn’t agree with what Prigozhin tried to achieve,” the first source told MEE.

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