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National Resistance Center: New Wagner camp under construction near Ukraine's border

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 8, 2023 2:30 PM 2 min read
The Belarusian flag flies above tents at a newly-built camp on a site previously used by the Belarusian army that could potentially accommodate up to 5,000 Wagner troops, on July 7, 2023, 90 kilometers southeast of Minsk, near Tsel, Asipovichy District, Belarus. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
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The construction of another camp for Wagner Group fighters has begun in Zyabrovka airfield in Belarus, Ukraine's National Resistance Center reported on Aug. 8.

Zyabrovka is located near Gomel in southeastern Belarus, about 40 kilometers from the border with Chernihiv Oblast in Ukraine.

The center said that in the future, there is a plan to deploy mercenaries to imitate "subversive activities" on the border with Ukraine.  

On July 21, the Ukrainian military reported that Russian sabotage units tried unsuccessfully to cross the Ukrainian border into Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts.

Both regions were invaded and partially occupied during Russia's initial onslaught in February 2022, but the invading forces withdrew in April after the Kremlin's failure to take Kyiv.

Recently, thousands of Wagner fighters have moved into Belarus at Minsk's invitation following the mercenary group's short-lived rebellion against the Kremlin in late June.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed that he brokered a deal that meant the fighters would leave Russia.

Minsk has claimed that the mercenaries are training the Belarusian military, with exercises taking place in the westernmost Brest Oblast close to the Polish border.

The Polish Defense Ministry said on Aug. 1 that two Belarusian helicopters violated the country's airspace during exercises.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on July 29 that over 100 Wagner mercenaries were also deployed in the Grodno region of Belarus near the Suwalki Gap, from where they could infiltrate into Poland.

The Suwałki Gap is strategically important due to its location sandwiched between Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Lithuania, another country that borders Belarus, plans to close two border checkpoints due to the presence of the Wagner Group, Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reported on Aug. 4, citing Deputy Interior Minister Arnoldas Abramavicius.

Ukraine's National Resistance Center reported on July 27 that the paramilitary organization is recruiting fighters in Belarus under the condition that they are ready to participate in hostilities in neighboring countries, such as Poland and Lithuania.

Belarus Weekly: Helicopters violate Polish airspace; Wagner moves closer to border
Tensions rise after Belarusian helicopters cross into Polish territory, the country’s state border service said on Aug. 1. Poland also alleges that around 100 Wagner mercenaries are transferred closer to the Suwalki Corridor, bringing tensions to a new high. Subscribe to the NewsletterBelarus…
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