Ukrainian soldiers are reported to have captured two German members of the pro-Russian PMC Wagner during fighting for the eastern city of Bahkmut. The Wagner Organisation has been designated as a “transnational criminal organisation” and the mercenary group has been linked with numerous human rights abuses in central Africa and Ukraine. The PMC is run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin and is known to recruit non-Russian recruits. News of the capture was reported by the newspaper Tagesspiegel in Germany.
The exact number of non-Russian fighters in the Wagner Group is not known, but estimates range from a few hundred to several thousand. The Wagner Group has been the subject of much controversy in recent years, with some accusing it of being a tool of the Kremlin to carry out covert operations in foreign countries. The group has been linked to several high-profile incidents, including the capture of oil fields in eastern Syria, clashes with US troops in Deir ez-Zor province, and more recently leading Russia‘s offensive near Bakhmut in Ukraine.
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