The camps of PMC Wagner in Belarus are bring dismantled according to an independent Belarusian monitor and Ukraine’s National Resistance Center said that against the background of the death of mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagnerites are leaving Belarus for Russia.
“Against the background of the probable death of the terrorist Yevgeny Prigozhin, his associates are forming columns to leave the camps. According to the Belarusian underground, on the evening of August 23, part of the camps of the [Wagnerites] in Belarus are being closed down,” the Ukrainian NRC said.
It added: “The convoys are probably heading in the direction of the border with the Russian Federation, but the special services of the Republic of Belarus are trying to prevent the mercenaries’ vehicles from leaving.”
Prigozhin was declared dead in a plane crash on Wednesday. Telegram channel affiliated with Wagner, Grey Zone, reported that he died in a plane crash that was “shot down” in the sky over the Tver region by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Belaruski Hajun, a Belarusian activist group that monitors troops movements in Belarus reported that “as of August 23, 101 out of 273 tents, or [a third] of the field camp, had already been dismantled. This means that the camp could have been reduced by almost 2,000 people (20 people per tent, but some tents were used for household needs).”
However, it noted: “Despite the dismantling of some of the tents, the amount of equipment in the camp in Tsel village hasn’t changed. In other words, if some of the mercenaries indeed left for Russia, then in general PMC Wagner wasn’t going to completely close its field camp.”
The Belarusian monitor added: “Right now, the following options may be assumed: Complete end of the mercenaries’ activities (liquidation of the field camp in Tsel village, liquidation of legal entities, withdrawal of mercenaries and equipment); Wagner infrastructure continues to work under new management (the question is under whose and in what form); and PMC Wagner is transferred under control of the Lukashenko regime (theoretically, it’s possible, but difficult to realize, because there may be simply no resources for the maintenance of mercenaries).”
Many Wagner fighters had arrived in Belarus after the short-lived mutiny led by Prigozhin in June, and Minsk said on July 14 that the mercenaries were training Belarussian soldiers as instructors, according to BelTA citing the defense ministry.