Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, leaders of the PMC “Wagner”, have just moved to Belarus with their mercenaries, but they already have their own “household” here. More precisely: they are registering their own firms. In addition, under the same brand names they are using in Russia.
Last week it became known that the public figure of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, had become the head of recently founded company – Concord Management and Consulting LLC. Such information is contained in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs of the Ministry of Justice of Belarus.
So, what is known for now? First of all, Russian mercenaries are acting absolutely openly and transparently, they don’t even try to mask themselves with figureheads. The Limited liability company Concord Management and Consulting with the statutory fund of 200 Belarusian rubles (it’s about $80) was registered by Mogilev Regional Executive Committee on July 19, 2023. The tax payer ID of the new LLC is 791314882. The new company’s announced core business is “Real estate management”. The indicated head of the company is Prigozhin Yevgeny Viktorovich. Allegedly, he can be contacted by the phone number +7 812 612-77-22 (as we can see, it is a phone number with Saint-Petersburg area code).
The full address of registration of the new legal entity is: Republic of Belarus, 213727, Mogilev region, Osipovichsky district, Protasevichsky Agricultural Council, the village of Tsel, Vostochnaya street, 2a.
We’d like to remind that it is exactly there, in the village of Tsel, where a field camp was urgently built for the PMC “Wagner” mercenaries arriving from Russia. The 100% owner of the Belarusian company is the Russian Concord Management and Consulting LLC (1037843002515), whose Director General, according to the documents, is also Yevgeny Prigozhin. It has existed in Russia since 2003. The number of official employees is 31.
Curious thing: it’s highly probable that there already is the first object in Belarus that can be attributed to the company. The pro-regime Telegram channels state that the camp in the village Tsel has been built by the Wagnerians themselves. It is called “Airsoft Training Camp”. At the same time, there has been no official communication on by who and for whose money the tent camp near the village Tsel of Osipovichsky district was built. However, on July, 14, the Ministry of Defence showed trainings of people subject to military duty from Salihorsk, that took place exactly at that camp.
What else can be said about the situation? It’s interesting that Yevgeny Prigozhin did not register the legal entity in Belarus at his own name, but in a marked manner made it a subsidiary of his most notorious business project in the Russian Federation – the parent company of the group of companies Concord. In fact, that deprives the Belarusian subsidiary of independence: if the Russian authorities nationalize the whole Concord in the Russian Federation, the Belarusian company will be nationalized, too.
On the other hand, that scheme allows to transfer any amounts of money to the Belarusian subsidiary, as both the companies constitute parts of the same group, and no financial monitoring can say anything here. So, probably, it is a temporary decision with the aim to legally transfer Prigozhin’s capital from Russia to Belarus. What it will be converted into in our country is another question, and a very painful one.
Also, we should understand, that all that is a small part of an extremely large business with a branched structure. Thus, The New York Times has discovered over 70 companies, connected to Yevgeny Prigozhin. About half of them deal with state orders, real estate, luxury items, like yachts and aircrafts. Another half is connected to the Wagner Group.
At the first sight, it is a whole number of enterprises that have nothing to do with each other, but involved in political pressure, extraction of mineral resources and mercenarism around the world. In reality, the group consists of bogus companies that have joint financing, equipment and personnel. Syrian operations of the Wagner Group are important for Putin. Prigozhin’s companies control oil and gas field development in Syria in the territory of about 10 thousand square kilometers. The CAR company of Wagner, under the aegis of M-Finance, are involved in gold, diamonds and timber extraction. The mercenaries of the group are employees of Sewa Security Services. Fighters employed by Sewa ensure the safety of the president of the CAR. Exhaustive presence in Africa allows the Wagner Group to establish cross-border collaboration. Wagner has a joint enterprise with a state mining company in Madagascar. It shares its personnel with Midas Resources, involved in gold mining at Ndassim mine in the CAR.
Now the question: how exactly that predator is planning to exploit Belarus?