Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported that the Russian military group Wagner has made a strategic move to enhance its intelligence operations. In 2022, Wagner allegedly signed a $30 million contract with Beijing Yunzi Technology, a Chinese firm, for the acquisition of two high-precision surveillance satellites.
The satellites, now part of Wagner’s resources, were initially sold to Nika-Fruit, a company that was under the commercial empire of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group at the time of the deal.
These satellites have played a crucial role in supporting Wagner’s operations in Africa. The contract stipulates that Wagner can request satellite images on demand. This provision has enabled Wagner to obtain images of Ukraine and various African regions where its mercenaries are active, including Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Mali.
In addition to this, the Wagner group has secured rights to bid for images from other satellites within the network owned by the Chinese operating company. This company currently owns 100 satellites and has an ambitious plan to expand its fleet to 300 by 2025.