Satellite images appear to show Wagner camp in Belarus being dismantled
PHOTO CAPTION: A satellite image shows a Tsel military base, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Mogilev Region, Belarus, September 9, 2023, in this handout image obtained by Reuters on September 14, 2023. PLANET LABS PBC/Handout via REUTERS
(Reuters) - Satellite images of a military base southeast of the Belarus capital Minsk appear to show dismantling of tents in recent weeks, which may indicate the winding down of the base for Wagner, the Russian mercenary company behind an abortive mutiny.
On Aug. 23, Wagner's boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and his top lieutenants were killed when a private jet he used crashed in so-far unexplained circumstances, leaving the fate of his mercenaries in doubt.
Images of the Tsel military base in Mogilev region, taken on July 25, Aug. 25 and Sept. 9 and provided by Earth imaging company Planet Labs, appear to show the gradual dismantling of tents in the camp.
Reuters could not verify the nature of the changes in the camp.
In June, the Wagner group launched a brief mutiny against the army top brass in Russia, condemned as treason by President Vladimir Putin.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko invited Wagner to set up operations in his country as part of a deal that ended the mutiny.
(Writing by Maxim Rodionov, Editing by Ron Popeski and Alistair Bell)