Ukraine Destroys Russian Mercenary Base After Location Was Posted Online By Journalists

Ukraine Destroys Russian Mercenary Base After Location Was Posted Online By Journalists
A photo of a journalist with Russian Mercenaries that went viral online

Kiev  - Ukraine announced on Monday that its forces had successfully destroyed the headquarters of the Wagner Group, an elite mercenary organization that fights on behalf of Russia. The base was tracked by the Ukrainian military because Russian journalists took a photo in front of it which was then posted online.

The governor of Luhansk in Ukraine, Serhiy Hayday, announced that his state troops had attacked the Wagner Group headquarters in the eastern city of Popasna. Pro-Kremlin media also acknowledged the attack. Details about the attack have not been disclosed, including how many died in the attack and the extent of the damage caused.

Ukrainian troops were able to locate the base after a Russian propagandist journalist, Sergei Sreda, accidentally revealed its location in a photo posted to the social media site Telegram on August 8. This was reported by the Ukrainian newspaper, Ukrainska Pravda.

The photo shows a street sign with the address of the nearest bomb shelter, allowing Kiev forces to know its location.

According to a BBC report, Tuesday (16/8/2022), the Wagner Group mercenary organization was also used by Russia in the 2014 Crimea war, and has been seen in Syria, Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic. Members of the group, according to some reports, have repeatedly tried to assassinate Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky.

The Wagner Group has also been accused of being behind some of the worst atrocities linked to widespread rape and robbery of civilians in the Central African Republic in 2021. “The Russian government has found Wagner and other private military companies useful as a way to expand its influence abroad without visibility and interference of state military forces,” reads the report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank.

The Wagner Group was founded by Dmitry Utkin, a former special forces colonel and veteran of two wars in Chechnya. The Wagner Group is reportedly owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch known as "Putin's chef" for his restaurant and catering company hosting lavish dinner parties for President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

In 2016, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Prigozhin "for assisting, sponsoring or providing material financial, material or technological support to support senior officials of the Russian Federation," the office said.

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