Wagner not engaged in Ukraine in any significant way, Pentagon says
PHOTO CAPTION: Fighters of Wagner private mercenary group pull out of the headquarters of the Southern Military District to return to base, in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Wagner mercenary group is not participating in military operations in Ukraine in any significant way, the Pentagon said on Thursday, more than two weeks after the group staged a brief armed mutiny in Russia.
"At this stage, we do not see Wagner forces participating in any significant capacity in support of combat operations in Ukraine," said Pentagon spokesperson Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder.
Wagner fighters had waged some of the fiercest and bloodiest battles during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But in the wake of the June 23-24 revolt, fighters were given the option of going into exile, joining Russia's regular forces or going home. On Wednesday, Russia's defense ministry said Wagner was completing its handover of weapons to Russia's regular armed forces.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Leslie Adler)