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Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, Vladimir Putin’s “shadow army”


The mercenaries of the Wagner Group maintain close – but unofficial – links with the Russian authorities. For a long time, the Kremlin denied their existence. Today, if the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, still does not pronounce their name, he recognizes in any case the existence of a private security group – without mentioning the links that this group could have and the Russian State.

These mercenaries, who intervened in several areas of conflict, were notably spotted in Mali, which worries France, and played in the departure of French troops from the country, announced Thursday, February 17.

In this episode of the “L’Heure du Monde” podcast, Benoît Vitkine and Cyril Bensimon, journalists at Worldrespectively correspondent in Moscow and specialist in West Africa, tell us who the mercenaries of the Wagner Group are, who leads them, and what interests they serve…

An episode produced by Adèle Ponticelli, directed by Amandine Robillard and presented by Morgane Tual.

“The Hour of the World”

“L’Heure du Monde” is the daily news podcast of the World. Listen every day, from 6 a.m., to a new episode, on Lemonde.fr or on Spotify. Find all the episodes here.

In this episode:

  • Movie Trailer Touriston the Russian intervention in the Central African Republic, directed by Andreï Batov.
  • Excerpts: Jean-Yves Le Drian in the Senate, January 23, 2019 (Senate); Vladimir Putin during a forum in Sochi (Russia), in October 2021 (AFP); Emmanuel Macron’s press conference, Thursday February 17 (Reuters).

To learn more about the Wagner Group mercenaries:

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