up to 20 thousand mercenaries from the Russian private military company Grupo Wagner, and others from Syria and Libya, are fighting alongside Moscow’s forces in Ukraine, an AFP source said on Tuesday.
“According to their capabilities, they are infantry troops. They do not have vehicles or heavy weapons. They are clearly infantry,” the source told reporters in Washington, with whom he spoke on condition of anonymity.
“These troops are mainly used as a mass against the Ukrainian resistance,” said the official.
The source explained that of the estimated 10,000 to 20,000 mercenaries taking part in the invasion, it is difficult to say how many belong to the Wagner Group, an organization that is said to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and how many are from Syria and Libya.
The source said there had been some “transfer” of fighters from Libya and Syria to the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
At the end of March this year, the UK Ministry of Defense said that more than 1,000 Wagner Group mercenaries could be taking part in the fighting in Ukraine, including senior leaders of that organization.
The AFP source said that in four or six months the war will likely have reached a dead end, with Russian troops controlling Lugansk, which is part of Donbass, and a small land bridge inside Zaporizhzhia province in southern Russia. Ukraine.
In addition, the source predicted that by next autumn (in the northern hemisphere), negotiations between Russia and Ukrainewhich would result in the end of the war before the start of the next winter.