Belarus Detains 33 Russian Wagner Mercenaries Ahead of Presidential Election – Report
Belarussian law enforcement has detained 33 mercenaries from the private Russian military contractor Wagner Group less than two weeks before the country’s presidential election, the Belarus state-run Belta news agency reported Wednesday.
The surprise announcement is the latest twist in an extraordinary election campaign that has seen strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko jail his key would-be rivals ahead of the vote.
The Wagner Group, a U.S.-sanctioned outfit with links to the Kremlin through catering magnate Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been reported to be fighting in Syria, eastern Ukraine and other conflict-torn countries on behalf of the Russian government.
This is a big breaking story, the mercenaries are being accused of being in Belarus to provoke trouble per upcoming elections. Pretty bad. I would say, obviously, Russia will deny. News coverage everywhere.
Difficult to squirm out of this one.