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CNN: Military source says Ukraine 'likely' behind strike on Wagner forces in Sudan

by Abbey Fenbert September 20, 2023 2:47 AM 2 min read
A man stands by as a fire rages in a livestock market area in al-Fasher, the capital of Sudan's North Darfur state, on Sept. 1, 2023, in the aftermath of bombardment by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). (Photo by AFP/via Getty IMages)
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Ukrainian special services may have been responsible for a military operation against a Wagner-backed militia in Sudan, according to a CNN investigation published Sept. 19.

An unnamed Ukrainian military source told CNN that the operation, which involved a series of drone strikes and a ground operation, was conducted by "non-Sudanese military."

The source also said that “Ukrainian special services were likely responsible.”

The attacks targeted the Wagner-backed militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which has been fighting the Sudanese army for control of the country since April.

CNN's investigation did not find conclusive proof that Kyiv was behind the operation, but did obtain video footage showing "the hallmarks of Ukrainian-style drone attacks."

The strikes began on Sept. 8, two days after the Wagner mercenary organization sent several trucks loaded with weapons to an RSF garrison. Drones deployed in at least eight of the strikes were the same as those widely used by Ukrainian forces, and the drone controller featured Ukrainian text.

Experts consulted in the investigation also told CNN that the tactics used in the strikes reflect Ukrainian military patterns.

However, some officials consulted doubted the source's claim.

A top-ranking Sudanese military official told CNN he did not believe the claim and that he had "no knowledge of a Ukrainian operation in Sudan."

Similarly, multiple U.S. officials responded to the reports with surprise and skepticism.

Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the operation in Sudan.

The Wagner Group's involvement in African conflicts has been linked to the Russian government's efforts to finance its war in Ukraine. The organization's brutality in several African countries, including Sudan, has brought international sanctions on Wagner leaders.

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