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Russia has frequently used mercenaries in Africa, the Middle East, and Ukraine, as well as other areas, to project power with plausible deniability. The ‘Wagner Group’ is the unit of choice, run by ‘Putin’s chef’, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
U.S. Secretary of State* Tony Blinken today warned the Russian Federation about using commercial forces to destabilized the nation of Mali.
Three journalists hired by Kremlin-nemisis Mikhail Khodorkovsky were murdered in the Central African Republic in 2018 attempting to make a film about Wagner’s activities in-country.
On a visit to Senegal, Blinken said that the United States was “contributing to efforts with Mali and partners in support of stability” in the war-ravaged country, reported The Moscow Times.
“I would only add that I think it would be especially unfortunate if outside actors engage in making things even more difficult and more complicated, and I’m thinking in particular of the Wagner group,” he said.
“As soon as the democraticly elected government takes office, the international community stands ready to support Mali,” Blinken said.
If that is a picture of a Russian merc in Mali he is going to die of heat stroke….