The Ukrainian military reported Wagner soldiers had returned to the front line in Bakhmut. Photo/Illustration
KIEV – The soldiers who previously fought in Ukraine for a mercenary group Russia , Wagner , has returned to the battlefield in the east of the country. This was revealed by the Ukrainian military.
Wagner’s mercenaries had previously withdrawn from the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in May when they handed over control of the region to the Russian military.
Following the group’s failed uprising in June, security experts predicted the Kremlin would seek to further absorb the group into the Russian military.
On Wednesday, Deputy Commander for Communications of Ukrainian forces in the East, Serhii Cherevatyi, said former Wagner soldiers had returned to Ukraine. They now work for the Russian Ministry of Defense or its affiliated structures and have joined as individuals rather than as a unit.
“As of now, there are several hundred of them in our direction, on the Eastern Front, in various regions,” said Cherevatyi as quoted by CNN, Friday (29/9/2023).
But he tried to downplay the return of Wagner’s soldiers.
“Russian troops in Ukraine are currently undermanned there, so anyone can do good for them,” he said.
Ukrainian soldiers who took part in the offensive near the besieged town of Bakhmut also told CNN that Wagner’s former troops had returned to the area.
“Wagner is here too,” a drone operator with the call sign “Groove” told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday.