Russia’s Wagner Group has deployed its mercenaries to eastern Ukraine, the UK’s ministry of defense said Monday, adding that over 1,000 would likely take part in fighting following Russian setbacks.
“Russian Private Military Company the Wagner Group has deployed to eastern Ukraine,” the MoD tweeted.
“They are expected to deploy more than 1,000 mercenaries, including senior leaders of the organisation, to undertake combat operations,” the ministry said.
Reputed to be close to President Vladimir Putin, the Wagner Group and its mercenaries are suspected of abuses in Mali, Libya, and Syria.
“Due to heavy losses and a largely stalled invasion, Russia has highly likely been forced to reprioritise Wagner personnel for Ukraine at the expense of operations in Africa and Syria,” the UK defense ministry said.
Britain last week slapped more sanctions on Russian individuals and entities, including the Wagner Group, over the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 28 March 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/LGcaASzEkJ
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 28, 2022