Wagner Group fighters might want to ensure “the Kremlin” does not get away with killing their chief Yevgeny Prigozhin after his private jet was shot down by Vladimir Putin’s regime on Wednesday evening.
An all source intelligence analyst has warned that there are other Wagner commanders who are still alive and will keep the “organisation going.”
On Saturday Putin signed and executive order demanding that the Wagner mercenaries make an oath of allegiance to the Russian Federation and fight for Moscow.
However, many battle-hardened Wagner mercenaries will not join Russia’s military and some have issued a threat to Putin for killing their boss.
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Wagnerites based in Belarus who will now no longer be paid have issued a statement which is thought to be directed at Moscow.
The Wagner mercenaries said in a video, “There’s a lot of talk right now about what the Wagner Group will do. We can tell you one thing. We are getting started, get ready for us.”
Wagner soldiers in Belarus release a statement:
“There’s a lot of talk right now about what the Wagner Group will do. We can tell you one thing. We are getting started, get ready for us.” pic.twitter.com/vSX0JsYqud
— Global Military Activity (@Gadhwara27) August 24, 2023
Prigozhin was killed exactly two months to the date of his failed mutiny which was a “rebellion” and a “stab in the back” for Putin.
“We are talking about senior commander Andrei Troshev and people with callsigns like Ratibor, Zombie and Lotus.
“I would suggest that while a big piece of Wagner has gone, there are still sufficient elements left to keep the organisation going.”
Senior Wagner figures such as former Russian platoon commander Anton Yelizarov. Who’s nom de guerre is “Lotus” and Alexander Kuznetsov, known as Ratibor, a decorated former special forces soldier, still have influence over the Wagnerites.
A new Wagner memorial in Irkutsk pic.twitter.com/2ja6oV7FkO
— Samuel Ramani (@SamRamani2) August 26, 2023
Bertina added, “As to the future of Wagner, it might be that there are other non-state security actors looking to fight for a share of the group’s resources.
“That said, none of them have Wagner’s capabilities and it will take quite some time for them to get to that level.
“It’s not just a question of throwing money at other groups so they can scale up, it’s also a question of experience and knowledge which you can’t gain overnight.
“At the moment, it seems like Wagner circles are not over-reacting and waiting to see what the commanders have to say.
“They might say that they want to make sure the Kremlin doesn’t get away with this, or, more likely, that it is a battle not worth fighting.
“Their best opportunity to depose Putin was when they were about to march on Moscow, and my opinion is that Putin was much better prepared for them than some were saying at the time,” the Metro reported.
Speaking about Wagnerites joining the Russian Army, Bertina said that most do not want to as they joined Wagner to get away from Russia’s Ministry of Defence.
Bertina said, “The process of fighters signing over to the MoD [Ministry of Defence] was already happening, but it was having problems transferring a significant number of people.
“Most people joined Wagner because they were tired of the MoD, and it has been difficult to get those people onboard.
“While the GRU [Russian military intelligence] took over Wagner’s operations in Syria, the group retained its operations in Africa after the mutiny.
“The Wagner mercenaries were saying it was business as usual.
“Now, that might change. On the one hand, there is a question of how much they can operate without the MoD’s support, while on the other hand, there is a question of how much the MoD can control them.”