Photo credit: AP

2 Russian intelligence agencies fight over spoils from Wagner Group’s African operations

Source: Remix News

After the death of Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, two Russian intelligence services are competing to take over the mercenary group’s main turf, which is its very lucrative African operations.

By far the most important operations for Russia under Wagner were in African countries such as Libya and the Central African Republic, where mercenaries gained trust and got rich supporting military leaders and autocrats. Their efforts helped Moscow spread its influence in Africa while weakening Western powers like France and the U.S.

Two Russian spy agencies — the SVR, the foreign intelligence service, and the GRU, the army intelligence service — are reportedly fighting to take over important parts of Prigozhin’s operations. Two officials from different governments said the SVR would most likely absorb the online propaganda and disinformation channels used in foreign countries, while the Defense Ministry and GRU could take over Wagner’s mercenary operations.

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Videos released by Burkina Faso and Mali of the Russian delegation’s visit show General Andrei V. Averianov, one of Russia’s top spies, known as the head of an elite unit specializing in foreign subversion, sabotage and assassination missions, sitting next to Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the deputy defense minister. Western officials see General Averianov as the leading candidate to take over at least part of the former Wagner operations that will be included in a changing system involving several private military companies.

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