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UK Defense Ministry: Wagner Group likely moving towards down-sizing

by Alexander Query and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 13, 2023 10:46 AM 1 min read
A Belarusian soldier walks through 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. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)
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The Wagner mercenary group is "likely moving towards a down-sizing and reconfiguration process, largely to save on staff salary expenses at a time of financial pressure, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote on Aug. 13 in its daily intelligence update.

Since the abortive mutiny of June 2023, the Russian state has acted against some other business interests of Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to UK intelligence. There is "a realistic possibility" that the Kremlin no longer funds the group.

If the Russian state no longer pays Wagner, the second most plausible paymasters are the Belarusian authorities, but Wagner could be a significant and "potentially unwelcome" drain on Belarusian resources.

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

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