| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Satellite images appear to show build-up at Wagner base in Belarus

Satellite images of a military base located southeast of Minsk, the capital of Belarus, indicate the presence of newly established facilities in recent days. These observations suggest that a base is being swiftly constructed, potentially intended for Wagner, the Russian mercenary company associated with a failed mutiny.
Russian media have reported that Wagner, whose leader Yevgeny Prigozhin arrived in Belarus on Tuesday, could set up a new base at a vacant military facility near the town of Asipovichi, about 90 km (50 miles) from Minsk.
Images captured by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 2 satellites on June 27 show rows of long structures in the nearby village of Tsel, in a field which had appeared empty on June 14.

Reuters could not verify the nature of the construction. The images are publicly available through searches on the ESA website.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko invited Wagner to set up operations in his country as part of a deal that ended the mutiny on Saturday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Wagner fighters were free either to move to Belarus, join the Russian military or go home, following the mutiny, which he said had threatened to bring civil war to Russia.

Prigozhin said he launched his mutiny to demand changes in military leadership he blamed for failures in the war in Ukraine, and to prevent the destruction of his force after it was ordered to submit to control of the ministry of defence.

  • Reuters