In the wake of his aborted mutiny last month, Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner Private Military Company turned over more than 2,000 weapons and pieces of equipment more than 2,500 tons of ammunition and over 20,000 small arms, the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) said on its Telegram channel Wednesday. A video showing turned over Wagner tanks and other armor, artillery pieces, land mines and boxes apparently full of munitions has also been distributed.
The cache of arms and ammunition displayed by the Russian MoD - if it indeed did come from Wagner - showcases Prigozhin's force of high-end weaponry.
This list of equipment provided by the Russian MoD includes "hundreds of heavy weapons like T-90, T-80, T-72B3 tanks, Grad and Uragan multiple-launch rocket systems, Pantsir surface-to-air missile systems, 2S1 Gvozdika 122 mm self-propelled artillery systems, 2S3 Akatsiya 152 mm, 2S5 Giatsint 152 mm, 2S4 Tulpan 240 mm, howitzers and anti-tank guns, mortar systems, multipurpose armored tractors, armored personnel carriers, as well as motor vehicles."
Among other items, the video released by the Russian MoD shows:
- MT-LB light armored vehicles
- 2B9 Vasilek semi-automatic 82mm gun-mortars
- TM-62 anti-tank land mines
- 120mm 2S9 Nona self-propelled gun-mortars
- 152mm D-1 towed howitzers
- 152mm 2S5 Giatsint-S self-propelled field guns
- 152mm 2A36 Giatsint-B towed field guns
- trucks with 57mm S-60 anti-aircraft guns
- towed anti-tank guns
- AK-series rifles
In addition to describing the sheer volume of weaponry provided by Prigozhin, the Russian MoD claims that dozens of pieces of that equipment were "never used in combat."
“All equipment and armaments are transported to rear areas, where repair and recovery units of the Russian Armed Forces carry out maintenance and prepare them for use for their intended purpose,” the MoD stated.
As for Prigozhin himself, it's been a while since the Wagner boss - exiled to Belarus - was seen in public. The last confirmed sighting was apparently earlier this month, when he returned to St. Petersburg to pick up a cache of his personal weapons seized from him after the mutiny attempt.
Days after he ended that attempted, Prigozhin and Wagner battlefield commanders were among 35 people to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to talk about what happened.
"The only thing we can say is that the president gave his assessment of the company's (Wagner's) actions at the front during the Special Military Operation (in Ukraine) and also gave his assessment of the events of 24 June (the day of the mutiny)," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday.
Ukraine, meanwhile, was able to breathe a sign of relief knowing that upwards of 25,000 Wagner troops were taken off the battlefield in the wake of the mutiny. But it now appears that Russian regular forces have at least received a boost in badly needed equipment and ammunition as its all-out war has dragged on for more than 500 days.
Of course, it could only be a matter of time before some of this equipment winds up being catalogued by the Oryx open-source intelligence group as damaged, destroyed or abandoned.
Regardless, as of now, the weapons of the once very heavily armed Wagner forces in Ukraine appear to be under the lock and key by order of the Russian government.
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