This is the 11th convoy to arrive there recently, and the first one to include Shchuka (Pike) armored vehicles, reported Belaruski Hajun, a Belarusian activist group that monitors troops movements in Belarus.
The report stated that the column contained at least 29 vehicles: 1 UAZ-Patriot, 1 off-road vehicle, 6 Shchuka armored vehicles, 11 trucks, 6 truck tractors, 2 Ural-4320 trucks, and 2 KAMAZ trucks.
Shchuka armored vehicles, also known as BTR-80s, are versatile military assets that have gained attention for their use by the Wagner Group, a private military company with reported ties to the Russian government. These amphibious personnel carriers are equipped with robust armor and powerful weaponry, making them well-suited for various combat situations.
The Wagner Group's deployment of Shchuka armored vehicles in conflicts like the Ukrainian and Syrian civil wars has raised concerns among international observers due to the group's non-state status and lack of accountability. The use of these vehicles by Wagner Group in foreign conflicts highlights the growing prominence of private military contractors in contemporary warfare and poses challenges for international security dynamics and accountability in the face of covert military operations.
Many Wagner fighters have arrived in Belarus and Minsk said on July 14 that the mercenaries were training Belarussian soldiers as instructors, according to BelTA citing the defense ministry.