In recent weeks, up to hundreds of fighters formerly associated with the Wagner Group private military company have likely started to redeploy to Ukraine as individuals and small groups, fighting for a variety of pro-russian units, the UK Defense Intelligence reports.
Wagner Group withdrew from combat operations in Ukraine by early June 2023, prior to the abortive mutiny of June 24, 2023, and the subsequent death of Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin and other senior leaders in a plane crash on August 23, 2023.
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The exact status of the redeploying personnel is unclear, but it is likely individuals have transferred to parts of the official russian Ministry of Defense forces and other private military companies. Several reports suggest a concentration of Wagner veterans around Bakhmut: their experience is likely to be particularly in demand in this sector. Many will be familiar with current front line and local Ukrainian tactics, having fought over the same terrain last winter.
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