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Ukraine downplays presence of Prigozhin, Wagnerites in Belarus: ‘Of no consequence’

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Kyiv downplayed the presence of Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and his forces in their northern neighbor Belarus, saying it was “of no consequence” to Ukraine and didn’t pose a threat.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a political adviser to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that Ukraine is not currently at risk of an attack from the north, and the presence of the Wagner private military company (PMC) fighters in Belarus does not pose a threat, the Kyiv Post reported.


Podolyak stated that only a portion of Prigozhin’s Wagnerites will be transferred to Belarus after the short-lived insurrection that ended with Prigozhin’s exile. He stressed that Ukraine’s northern borders were well fortified by the Ukrainian military.

He said: “The fact that Prigozhin is in Belarus is of no consequence to Ukraine because the Wagner PMC no longer exists.”

Former British Army chief of general staff General Richard Dannatt had earlier last week in an interview with Sky News that Prigozhin’s presence in Belarus was a “matter of some concern,” as it was quite possible that Russia may use Wagner forces to try and take the Ukrainian capital again.

However, Commander of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine warned that should Prigozhin try to lead his Wagner forces in an attack on Ukraine from Belarus, it would be “nothing but suicide.” And stressed that Ukraine’s northern border – shared with Belarus – remained “stable and under control,” according to the Ukrainian military’s Telegram account.

Prigozhin had started a brief revolt last week which swiftly ended with him calling off his Wagner forces’ march on Moscow after agreeing to a deal which would see him exiled in Belarus without any legal action taken against him in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Wagnerites who participated in the mutiny a choice, to either join the Russian army or go back home to their families or go to Belarus.

Read more:

Wagner’s Prigozhin could lead attack on Kyiv from Belarus: British general

Ukrainian commander on possible Wagner attack from Belarus: ‘Nothing but suicide’

Russian ex-PM: Wagner’s Prigozhin destroyed the ‘myth’ of Putin’s ‘stable’ Russia

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