Wagner mercenaries are no longer participating in “any significant capacity” in combat operations in Ukraine, the Pentagon said Thursday, more than two weeks after the group’s aborted mutiny in Russia.
“At this stage, we do not see Wagner forces participating in any significant capacity in support of combat operations in Ukraine,” Pentagon press secretary Pat Ryder told a news briefing.
The armed group, which played a key role in the Ukraine offensive, sought to topple Russia’s military leadership during the brief rebellion, before backing down.
The whereabouts of its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin are largely unknown in the wake of an agreement with the Kremlin that allowed for him to be exiled to neighboring Belarus.
Ryder said the the United States assessed that “the majority” of Wagner fighters were still in areas of Russian-occupied Ukraine.
Russian army chief of staff Valery Gerasimov Gerasimov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had for months been the targets of fierce criticism from Prigozhin, leading up to the attempted rebellion.
Since the failed mutiny, speculation has been rife that there could be a reshuffle among Russia’s military leadership, while details about the deal that ended the Wagner rebellion remain uncertain.
The Kremlin has said that President Vladimir Putin met with Prigozhin during an hours-long meeting in Moscow days after the mutiny.
On Wednesday, Russia announced that its army had received more than 2,000 pieces of military hardware, including tanks, from Wagner, following the rebellion.