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European satellite imagery appears to show Wagner building up military base in Belarus after Russia mutiny

Images captured by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 2 satellites on Tuesday appear to show what may be a new Wagner military base near the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

The images, if confirmed, would suggest a rapid build-up for Wagner in the days after the Russian mercenary company, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, engaged in a short-lived mutiny. 

Wagner military base Belarus

A satellite image appears to show new facilities set up recently, at a military base in Tsel, Mogilev Region, Belarus June 27, 2023. (European Union/Copernicus Sentinel-2/Handout via REUTERS )

Russian media has reported that Wagner troops arrived in Belarus on Tuesday and could set up a new base at a vacant military facility near the town of Asipovichi, some 50 miles from Minsk. 

The recent satellite image shows rows of long structures in the nearby village of Tsel, in a field that was empty as recently as June 24 – well over a week before Wagner’s short-lived mutiny. 

The images are publicly available through searches on the ESA website. Fox News Digital has reached out to the Defense Department for comment on the satellite imagery. 


In a statement to Fox News Digital, former U.S. defense intelligence officer Rebekah Koffler said Russian President Vladimir Putin aims to open a second front in Belarus as he builds a combat-ready strategic reserve of his most capable force of Wagner “musicians.” 

An armoured personnel carrier parked in Rostov as Wagner group mercenaries patrol the area

An armoured personnel carrier is parked in a street as members of Wagner group patrol an area in the centre of Rostov-on-Don, on June 24, 2023. (STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

“From here, Wagner hit squad can launch a blitzkrieg south using Poland’s border to their advantage with Polish troops sitting right behind,” Koffler said. “Don’t rule out the possibility that Putin will order Russian units stationed in the Moldovan enclave of Transnistria where the Russians have a huge Soviet-era ammunition depot.

“From this position, Russian threatens NATO’s borders with tactical nukes that Putin just gifted [Belarusian President Alexander] Lukashenko,” Koffler said. 


Lukashenko invited Wagner to set up operations in his country as part of a deal that ended the mutiny on Saturday.

Prigozhin speaks in video address

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company, records his video addresses in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2023.  (Prigozhin Press Service via AP)

Putin has said Wagner fighters were free either to move to Belarus, join the Russian military or go home, following the mutiny, which posed one of the most significant threats to Putin’s grip on power after more than two decades.

Prigozhin said he launched his mutiny to demand changes in military leadership he blamed for failures in the war in Ukraine, and to prevent the destruction of his force after it was ordered to submit to control of the Ministry of Defense.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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