According to a report by “Deutsche Welle”, a separate version of the Russian mercenary group Wagner is currently being formed in Belarus. Wagner mercenaries are said to even train the Belarusian equivalent. The creation of a new mercenary structure is to be supported by Kremlin boss Putin himself with “a large sum”.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, rumors have persisted that Belarus would join the aggressive war and send troops to Ukraine. So far, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has not joined the mission of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It would be too risky to accept Western sanctions and the displeasure of the Belarusian population.
But now it is becoming apparent that Lukashenko can avoid the risk and at the same time comply with Putin’s presumed wish. Because Belarus is currently building up its own mercenary troupe, based entirely on the model of the private Wagner group from Russia. This is reported by the “Deutsche Welle” and relies on information from the Belarusian opposition member Valery Sakhashchik.
The security company was founded in 2019 and is said to have ties to the former head of the Belarusian presidential administration, Viktor Sheeman. What is special: “GardServis” is the only security company in Belarus that is allowed to store, own or use service and civilian weapons as well as special means and physical violence. Lukasheno personally determined this by decree in June 2020. Belarusian journalist Aleksey Karpeko told Deutsche Welle that Lukashenko needed such a private structure before the presidential elections if unfavorable scenarios arose for him. According to the journalist, “GardServis” therefore recruited former members of the security authorities, the Presidential Security Service or veterans of the special forces or the KGB.
Currently, GardServis is said to have increased the number of its employees and is preparing to “take part in hostilities,” according to the Belarusian opposition figure. Sakhashchick believes that more than a thousand mercenaries have already been recruited by GardServis and trained at former military bases in Belarus. But where does the money for the employees, weapons and training come from? According to Sakhashchick, Putin himself supports the Belarusian security company. He had “invested a large sum” and used it to create “a Belarusian version of the Wagner group,” Sakhashchik told Deutsche Welle.
According to the Belarusian media, the fact that the Wagner mercenary group serves the Belarusian mercenary group can now be proven. According to this, Wagner mercenaries with combat experience are said to have flown to Minsk at the end of July 2022 to train “GardServis” employees there. Telegram channel MotolkoPomogi was also able to confirm that a plane belonging to a Russian private security and military company was flying to Belarus at the time. The training focused mainly on combat operations in cities, according to the media report. However, the Belarusian mercenaries are also said to have trained with heavy weapons of war.
Although there is no official information as to what purpose the “GardServis” company is supposed to serve, there are only two options for the Belarusian opposition politician Sakhashchick: On the one hand, the Belarusian mercenaries could be used in sabotage or reconnaissance groups or to support the Wagner mercenaries . On the other hand, Sakhashchick fears that this could be the beginning of a Belarusian mobilization so that the country can join a possible Russian offensive in the spring.
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