War in Ukraine: “10 to 20,000” Wagner mercenaries and Syrian or Libyan fighters would fight… – 20 Minutes

These men “have no vehicles or heavy weapons” and come to reinforce the Russian troops, the official told reporters in Washington, on condition of anonymity. The official says he has observed “transfers, from areas such as Syria and Libya, to the eastern region of Donbass”, where Moscow has launched a new phase of its attack. However, according to him, it is difficult to estimate exactly how many of these “10 to 20,000” men are from the private Wagner group, and how many are fighters from Libya or Syria. At the end of March, the British Ministry of Defense indicated that “more than 1,000 mercenaries” from the Wagner company, including leaders of the organization, were to be deployed in eastern Ukraine to “carry out combat operations”. .New offensiveReputed to be close to Vladimir Putin, the Wagner group and its paramilitaries are suspected of abuses in Mali, Libya and even Syria. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia began a major offensive in this area on Monday, a new strategic objective for Russian forces, after their withdrawal from the kyiv region. Part of this Ukrainian territory has already been in the hands of pro-Russian separatist forces since 2014. By leading this new offensive, Russian troops will probably control within “four to six months” the Lugansk region, part of Donbass and a small land bridge in the Zaporizhia region, the EU official in Washington said. He said he expected “total destruction” of the city of Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov, besieged since early March by Russian troops. “My fear is that it will be even worse than Boutcha”, a Ukrainian city where the Russian army is accused of having massacred civilians, he underlined. The official finally predicted a possible end to the negotiations between Russians and Ukrainians in “autumn 2022”, which would make it possible to find a solution to the conflict before winter.