Conflicts & War

Lukashenko claims Wagner troops in Belarus want to advance on Warsaw

Moscow, Jul 23 (EFE).- Wagner Group mercenaries stationed in Belarus want to go “westward” into neighboring Poland, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said Sunday.

Lukashenko made the remarks during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg, according to the official Belarusian Belta news agency.

“Maybe I shouldn’t say it but I will still do. Wagner are insisting on going westward,” Lukashenko said, adding that the mercenaries have told him they want to “see the sights of Warsaw and Rzeszow.”

The Belarusian president, a staunch Putin ally, said Wagner wanted to strike back at Poland for its military support of Ukraine against Russian forces.

“They hold a grudge. When they fought at Artyomovsk (the Russian name for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut), they knew where the military hardware came from,” Lukashenko said.

But he added that he will “of course keep them in Belarus, as agreed” when the Kremlin allowed the mercenaries into exile in Belarus rather than face criminal charges for the group’s failed uprising against Moscow last month.

On Friday, Putin warned Poland against any “aggression” against Belarus, amid reports that Warsaw was reinforcing its eastern flank after Wagner Group troops had taken up positions guarding the Belarusian-Polish border.

The Russian president also implied that Poland and Lithuania intended to “occupy” western Ukraine, accusing Polish leaders of wanting to form “a kind of coalition and interfere directly in the conflict” as a way to regain what they consider “historical territories” in western Ukraine.

“It is well known that they also yearn for Belarusian territories,” Putin said.

The remarks have angered Poland, which summoned the Russian ambassador in response. EFE


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