In what could be seen as yet another example of the dark side of Russian influence in global politics, a man linked to the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group, Dmitry Utkin, was badly injured in an assassination attempt in Central African Republic. Utkin was reportedly traveling with a convoy escorted by mercenaries when they were attacked near the oil-rich town of Kaga-Bandoro. The attempted assassination has raised serious questions about Russia’s involvement in Africa and its ties to private military contractors. In this blog post, we will explore the implications of the attack on Dmitry Utkin and how it affects Russia’s presence in Central African Republic.
What is their connection to Russia?
There is no definitive answer to this question, but there are various theories floating around. One theory is that the Wagner Group is in league with the Russian government, and that they are working together to destabilize the Central African Republic. Another theory is that the Wagner Group is simply a group of mercenaries who have been hired by the Russian government to carry out their dirty work. Whatever the truth may be, it is clear that there is some sort of connection between the Wagner Group and Russia.
The assassination attempt
In early March, a Russian man linked to the Wagner Group was seriously injured in an assassination attempt in the Central African Republic (CAR). The Russian, who has not been named, was working as a security contractor for Wagner when he was attacked.
The attack took place near the town of Obo, in eastern CAR. The Russian was reportedly driving in a vehicle with two other Wagner employees when they were ambushed by unidentified assailants. The Russian was shot multiple times and seriously wounded. He was evacuated to a hospital in Khartoum, Sudan for treatment.
It is not clear who carried out the attack, but it comes amid growing tensions between Russia and theCAR government. Last month, the CAR accused Russia of arming anti-government rebels and intervened militarily to stop an alleged coup attempt. Russia has denied these allegations.
Who is believed to be behind the attack?
The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed that one of its citizens was wounded in an assassination attempt in the Central African Republic. The man, who has been identified as Maxim Shugaley, is believed to be a member of the Wagner private military company.
Wagner is a shadowy firm that has been linked to the Kremlin and is thought to be behind a number of military operations in Africa and elsewhere. It is not clear who was behind the attack on Shugaley, but it is unlikely to be anyone other than someone with a grudge against Russia or Wagner.
The current state of affairs in the Central African Republic
The current state of affairs in the Central African Republic is precarious, to say the least. Governmental authority is largely nonexistent outside of the capital city Bangui, leaving most of the country under the control of armed groups. The UN peacekeeping mission MINUSCA has been unable to stem the tide of violence, and human rights abuses are rampant. In addition, the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world, with little chance for economic development.
The situation in the Central African Republic took a turn for the worse in December 2020 when Russian national Valery Zakharov was seriously injured in an assassination attempt. Zakharov is linked to Wagner, a private military company with ties to the Kremlin. The attempted hit on Zakharov is believed to be connected to ongoing tensions between Russia and Turkey over control of oilfields in Libya and Syria. Consequently, there are fears that the Central African Republic could become a new battleground in this proxy war.
The people of the Central African Republic are caught in the middle of all this international intrigue and they are suffering immensely. It is imperative that the international community do whatever it can to help stabilize the country and protect its civilians before it descends further into chaos.
This attempted assassination of a Russian linked to the Wagner Group has raised serious questions about possible motives and implications for Russian presence in Central African Republic. It is unclear what actions Russia will take following this incident, but it highlights the importance of monitoring political events in Central African Republic as they unfold. At this time, there are still many unknowns surrounding this case that remain unanswered, making it difficult to understand or predict how events may develop in the near future.