The Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group committed serious atrocities against the Ukrainian people during their participation in Vladimir Putin’s war. However, that participation ended abruptly when the fighters rose up against the Russian Army last June. After having put the head of the Kremlin in check, part of the mercenary group was deployed in Belarus – under the protection of the dictator Alexander Lukashenko – and others were sent to continue their operations in Africa. More precisely to Sudan, where Wagner supports the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)a large group of militias led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, in their fight against the local Army.
What began as simple speculation and reports on social networks became more relevant following an investigation by the network. cnn. According to that medium, Ukrainian special services could be behind a series of drone attacks and a ground operation against a militia backed by Russian mercenaries.
Although the cnn He clarified that he cannot independently confirm kyiv’s involvement in the attacks, noting that the characteristics of the attacks and the drones used resemble the Ukrainian style.
A Ukrainian military source even told the North American network that the operation was carried out by a “non-Sudanese army,” and considered that “the Ukrainian special services were probably responsible.”
Volodimir Zelensky’s government, however, did not take responsibility for these attacks. A senior Sudanese military source told cnn that he had “no knowledge of a Ukrainian operation in Sudan” and that he did not believe it was true. Several North American officials spoke along these lines, who declared they were unaware of the incident and expressed their surprise at the suggestion that kyiv could be behind the attacks.
Investigations reveal that at least eight of the attacks were carried out with two commercial drones widely used by Ukraine. Experts also noted that the tactics used were highly unusual in Sudan and the wider African region.
The videos alternate between the view of the pilot, the view of a drone observing from above and that of the controller himself. In the images you can see a succession of attacks in Omdurman, a city located on the other side of the Nile River, opposite the capital, Khartoum, focus of intense clashes between the two rival factions. Six drone strikes targeted pickup trucks traveling on the Shambat Bridge, which connects those two cities in Sudan, consistent with local reports of a September 8 attack. Meanwhile, eight other attacks hit vehicles, buildings and armed men.
These bombings would have been perpetrated with first-person view (FPV) drones and DJI MAVIC 3, both widely used by Ukrainian troops in the context of the war with Russia. The former allow pilots to view the operation from the drone’s point of view, using glasses or a monitor to view the live feed.
A British researcher who directs Obscura Calibera website that identifies weapons, analyzed the images and recognized that the device matches those used by Ukrainian forces to control DJI MAVIC drones.
Another Sudanese military source indicated that the attacks were carried out two days after the Wagner Group provided a large convoy of weapons to the rebels in al-Zurug, in the south-west of the country, near the border with Chad. As detailed, a large number of vehicles, including several trucks loaded with weapons, arrived in that region on September 6.
Meanwhile, two Chadian military informants told the cnn that The convoy traveled through Chad to Zurugwhich would mean an expansion of Russia and Wagner’s sphere of influence in Africa, which also includes Mali, Sudan, the Central African Republic and Libya.
Among the arsenal supplied by Wagner to the Sudanese rebels, surface-to-air missiles stand out.
A high-level Sudanese source indicated that “About 90% of the RSF’s weapons come from Wagner.” He further stated that the arms supply did not decrease despite the death of Prigozhin, and his deputy, Dmitry Utkin, in a plane crash on August 23 in Moscow.
“We have repeatedly asked the Kremlin about Wagner’s support for the RSF, and they have told us that they have no information about it (…) For us, the Kremlin and Wagner have become the same thing,” said the Sudanese official.
In an interview recently granted to the agency AFPthe Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kulebawho last year visited more than ten African countries, said that “Russia tries by all means to keep countries in its orbit through coercion, bribery and fear (…) and has two tools for its work. In Africa, the most powerful are propaganda and Wagner.”
“Our strategy is not to replace Russia, but to free Africa from its clutches,” he added.