Almost 750 units of military equipment are stationed at the base of the Russian Wagner Group in central Belarus, according to the analysis of satellite images taken by Planet Labs
The analysis of satellite images taken by the Planet Labs service shows that almost 750 units of military equipment are stationed at the base of the Russian Wagner Group in the village of Cel in central Belarus. Compared to the photos from last week, the number of equipment has grown by a third. These are primarily cars, buses and military trucks. Several armored vehicles were also spotted arriving at the mercenary base yesterday.
Since July 11, 11 transport columns of the Wagner Group entered the territory of Belarus. Ukrainian army intelligence estimates the number of Wagner soldiers stationed in Belarus at 3,500. On Monday, units of the Belarusian internal troops began training. This was reported by Radio Svoboda, quoting the deputy commander of the internal forces, Colonel Siarhei Hrabiennikau. He said at a press conference in Minsk that the Wagnerians are “disciplined and motivated fighters and share their combat experience with Belarusian special forces units”.
Internal troops of Belarus are not part of the country's armed forces. According to the constitution, their task is to “ensure public security and the constitutional system.” During mass demonstrations after the rigged elections in 2020, they were used by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko to suppress social protests. Among the officers and soldiers of these units, there are many Russians and representatives of the nations of the Caucasus who treat Belarus as an occupied country.
The American Institute for War Research estimates that Wagner Group mercenaries are “unlikely to join the war effort in Ukraine for the foreseeable future because they lack the required heavy weapons”. In a new report, analysts quote a source as saying that “the remaining Wagner forces will leave the occupied Luhansk region by August 1, as the Russian Ministry of Defense has requested that the Wagnerians leave the 'special operation' zone by that date.”
There is an agreement of EU ambassadors for further sanctions against Belarus. The draft sanctions were prepared by the European Commission at the end of January, which was first reported by the Brussels correspondent of Polish Radio, and negotiations have been taking place since then. As determined by Beata Płomecka, the latest package of Belarusian sanctions contains all the elements that were in the January package. First of all, the blacklist of people banned from entering the EU and with assets blocked in Europe is to be extended. It includes people responsible for the persecution and conviction of Andrzej Poczobut.
As for sectoral sanctions, weapons, and ammunition are in the package. There is a blow to Belarusian exports of dual-use goods and technologies used for military purposes, products found on the battlefield in Ukraine and aviation technologies. Poland, supported by Lithuania, has recently appealed many times for permission to impose sanctions on the Belarusian regime. She emphasized that if the European Union is to effectively combat the circumvention of sanctions against Russia, it must also extend restrictions against Belarus.
The last time the EU imposed sanctions on the regime in Minsk was a year ago.