Russian Private Military Contractors in Africa: An Overview

In the wake of the failed 2023 insurrection led by the Wagner Group and the subsequent death of their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian private military contractors are undergoing significant changes. The Russian Ministry of Defence has taken charge of all remaining groups, including the remnants of Wagner, following directives from the Kremlin. This shift has brought about uncertainty regarding the future of Russian paramilitary presence in Africa.

Key Assessment 1: It is likely that the Wagner Group continues to operate in Africa, albeit in a fragmented state and with reduced visibility. The future role of Wagner in Africa remains unclear, but there is a possibility that it will continue to function in a limited capacity.

Key Assessment 2: There are strong indications that Russia is reorganizing its African paramilitary forces under the “Expeditionary Corps,” a unit commanded by the GRU to advance Kremlin interests in Africa.

Key Assessment 3: The Kremlin is likely prioritizing the use of Russian paramilitary groups, such as Wagner and Africa Corps, to oversee security and operations in gold mining ventures in Africa.

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