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Throughout the week, Twitter has been awash with images of Wagner mercenaries conducting military exercises with Belarussian special operations forces at the Brestsky training ground on the Belarus-Poland border.

In June, Wagner’s 24-hour rebellion threatened President Putin’s authority.

Belarussian President Lukashenko facilitated an eleventh-hour deal under which Wagner fighters were told to either join the regular Russian army or go to Belarus, a close ally of Russia.

Wagner will be in Belarus “for some time”, according to leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, before troops depart to fight in Africa. While speculation has swirled around Prigozhin’s safety, the Wagner warlord reportedly met with Putin at a roundtable meeting in the Kremlin.

Yesterday (July 20), the UK government announced a wave of sanctions against 18 individuals and businesses linked to Wagner activity in Mali, Sudan and the Central African Republic.