• Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

Ukraine conflict: Defense Ministry provides update on Russian private military company Wagner as Kremlin seeks support from African states

ByJanice K. Merrill

Jul 27, 2022

The Washington DC-based Institute for the Study of Warfare reported that the Russians were using Wagner Dark Group mercenaries to capture the Vuhledar power station on the northern outskirts of the village of Novoluhanske.

It is believed that the company, as well as our private groups, are used in Ukraine.

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“The Russian private military company Wagner probably managed to make tactical advances in the Donbass around the Vuhlehirska power plant and the nearby village of Novoluhanske,” the defense ministry said in a statement. “Some Ukrainian forces have probably withdrawn from the area.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has given an update on Russian private military company Wagner as the Kremlin seeks to win support from African states.

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“Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is currently undertaking a tour of Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Republic of Congo.

“Russia will most likely seek to exploit these visits to blame the West for the international food crisis and win the support of African states that have otherwise remained neutral in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Since 2014, Russia has made considerable efforts to secure influence across Africa, with Wagner frequently deploying as one of its favored tools of influence in the region.

“Russia probably primarily engages with Africa because it believes it will reinforce the ‘great power’ identity that Russia aspires to.

“Its secondary goals are likely to secure commodity concessions and persuade African states to vote in accordance with Russia’s interests in international forums.”

Russia’s foreign minister has denied his country was responsible for the global spike in food prices following its invasion of Ukraine, dismissing the ‘so-called food crisis’ as he wrapped up a visit to several African countries on a continent particularly affected.

Speaking to African journalists and diplomats in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, Lavrov accused the United States and European countries of driving up prices by pursuing “reckless” green policies and even hoarding oil. food during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The situation in Ukraine has additionally affected food markets negatively, but not because of the Russian special operation, but rather because of the absolutely inadequate reaction of the West, which announced sanctions,” Mr. Lavrov.

Western countries, for their part, repeatedly pointed out that food was exempt from their sanctions against Russia and blamed Moscow for the global crisis.

Lavrov said last week’s groundbreaking deal to provide safe corridors across the Black Sea for tons of booby-trapped grain from Ukraine “could have been announced a long, long time ago without it.” Western stubbornness to insist that they are always right”.

He said Russian and Turkish ships would escort ships trapped in Ukrainian ports across the Black Sea once Ukraine clears its coastline.

Many African countries are heavily dependent on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine. A few weeks ago, African leaders traveled to Moscow to voice their food concerns as impending famine grips the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, during the worst drought in decades.

But many African countries have not openly criticized Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Experts have cited Moscow’s support for some African nations dating back to the Soviet Union or Russia’s role as a major arms supplier to the continent while sending relatively little humanitarian aid.

Ethiopia is Africa’s diplomatic hub and second most populous country.