Chinese Satellite Maker's Contract With Wagner PMC Analyzed
Contract Showcases External Actor Role in Russia-Ukraine War
Reports from last week reveal that Russian mercenary group Wagner signed a contract with a Chinese firm to acquire two satellites for intelligence purposes. These satellites were used to aid Wagner's operations, particularly during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Experts have since analyzed the implications of the contract, which was signed in November 2022, sheds light on the extent of Wagner's involvement and the role of external actors in the conflict.
According to the document seen by AFP, the Chinese firm Beijing Yunze Technology Co Ltd sold two high-resolution observation satellites to Nika-Frut, a company under the control of Wagner's founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre updated.
The satellites, belonging to the Chinese space giant Chang Guang Satellite Technology (CGST), were purchased for over $30 million (235 million yuan), which included the cost of the satellites themselves and additional services.
The contract not only allowed Wagner to acquire the satellites but also provided for the provision of images on demand. This enabled Wagner to obtain satellite pictures of Ukraine and various regions in Africa where the group was active, including Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, and Mali. The availability of these satellite images significantly assisted Wagner's operations on the ground, giving them a strategic advantage.
It is worth noting that the satellite images obtained through this contract were also used in Wagner's failed mutiny in June, which ultimately led to the de facto breakup of the group. The European security source, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that the satellite images played a crucial role in the mutiny and subsequent events.
Contract specifics revealed that Wagner even ordered images of Russian territory along the route between the Ukrainian border and Moscow, which was seized by Wagner's forces during the mutiny. This indicates the group's expansionist ambitions and its desire to exert control beyond the borders of Ukraine.
The revelation of this contract raises concerns about the involvement of external actors in the conflict in Ukraine. It highlights the international dimensions of the conflict and the role of mercenary groups like Wagner, who rely on advanced technology to carry out their operations.
As tensions continue to escalate in the region, it is crucial to monitor and address the activities of such groups and their access to advanced military technology. This contract between the Chinese firm and Wagner serves as a reminder of the complex web of alliances and interests that shape conflicts around the world.
The contract between the Chinese firm and the Russian mercenary group Wagner sheds light on the extent of Wagner's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. The acquisition of satellites for intelligence purposes highlights the role of advanced technology in modern warfare. As the situation continues to evolve, it is essential to closely monitor the activities of such groups and ensure that the international community remains vigilant in addressing potential threats to regional stability.