The Russian private military company (PMC) Wagner acts (in the language of special services – «operates») freely in Belarus. This is the same one which has become famous for its war crimes worldwide, and recently especially because of participation in the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
But first, a little bit of reference to clarify the issue. Company GuardService is the first Belarusian private security company that was permitted to carry and use weapons by a special decree of Lukashenka. have been trying to trace. Different media in their investigations have repeatedly tried to trace its lineage. In particular, the journalists found out that GuardService has its roots in Administrative Affairs Office of the President.
In 2019, the company BelSecurityGroup was established on the basis of the company Globalcastom Management, which was then co-owned by Anna Pushkareva (Viktor Sheiman’s mistress). In January 2020, the formed company BelSecurityGroup changed its name to GuardService, and in June of the same year Alexander Lukashenko made it the first private security organization with the right to carry and use weapons. In August 2020, Alexander Metla, the head of the Afghan Memory Charitable Foundation, became the new owner of GuardService. Viktor Sheiman is known for both his friendship with Metla and assisting his foundation since its inception. In addition, it is known that in 2017 Sheiman purchased the land-owning of Metla in Podlipki, were he has been living now in close neighboring to Anna Pushkareva and her little son.
So, in June 2020, the first private security company appeared in Belarus, whose employees have the right to use firearms – GuardService obtained such a status thanks to the decree of Alexander Lukashenko. To date, no other private security company has such privileges in the country. It’s not by chance that soon talks went within the Belarussian security officials about GuardService as, in fact, the first Belarusian PMC (private military company).
The organization has a direct connection to Lukashenka and his longtime collaborator Viktor Sheiman. A source inside GuardService told reporters that on July 31, 2022, 20-25 people from the notoriously famous Russian PMC Wagner arrived in Minsk to train ordinary employees of the Belarusian security company.
According to an employee of GuardService, the basic training took place on the territory of the former Special Training Center at the Dynamo sports society. This building is located in Minsk on Karvata street. At that time, the Wagnerites were going to stay in Minsk until approximately late August. However, on August 14, a plane related to Wagner PMC and “Putin’s chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin flew to Minsk. An employee of GuardService said that this plane had taken some of the instructors and brought new ones.
Here’s another evidence from this man:
“Four days before the arrival of the Wagnerites, the company has chosen own representatives through internal selections to decide from whom the visitors would train instructors. Both the physical and psychological preparation were important, but the main selection criteria for candidates included confirming loyalty to Lukashenka. It was immediately clear that these people were Wagner PMC employees, they did not even hide it. Many ones had combat experience gained in Syria, Ukraine and African countries”
From that moment on, more intensive training of both instructors and ordinary employees began. Belarusian “guards” have been learning things that are completely unusual for their nominal activities: clearing out buildings, assault actions in the city, engineering preparation. Unknown people brought a lot of other weapons to GuardService (not the same as ordinary weapons are usually used by staff). Trainings began with heavier weapons – such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), automatic grenade launchers on the machine (AGS), Kalashnikov machine guns. A lot of time is devoted to tactical medicine. Now the company is almost not engaged in the protection of objects, but it’s tightly engaged with military issues.
At the moment, the company has several hundred people – up to 500. This means that a full-fledged battalion can be formed from it. In the summer the employees were also increasingly vocal about the facts both planned expanding the staff and expected purchasing heavier weapons.
This raises naturally a number of questions:
– Why did the assault unit of the PMC “Wagner” arrive to train the “guards” and not the units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus?
-What is the ultimate goal of this whole event?
-Who gave orders to carry out such actions?
-How much are the Belarusian special services aware of what has been happening?
But in any case, everything looks like the employees of GuardService are being prepared for the war in Ukraine on the side of Russia. It all fits: promises of high salaries, missions for the company, instructors, training, weapons, and so on.
All this is confirmed by the Ukrainian special services – they are sure that Russian mercenaries, together with Belarusian “assistants”, can arrange a provocation on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. According to them, on September 20, 130 mercenaries of the Russian PMC Liga arrived in Minsk with personal weapons and ammunition. Already on September 22, 300 sets of Ukrainian military uniforms, which the Russians seized in warehouses in the Kherson region, were delivered to the territory of the Belarusian private security company GuardService, where the mercenaries are located.
Possible sabotage, according to the Ukrainian side, is expected in the area of the cities of Pinsk, Ivanovo and Kobrin. Such acts of sabotage play directly into Moscow hands, which seeks to draw additional forces into this war, in particular Belarus. Also, according to an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoly Shtefan, the risk of using joint Russian-Belarusian sabotage and reconnaissance groups (SRG) in Ukraine is now very high, particularly in Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr and Kiev regions.