Data as of 16:00 (GMT+3) 16.10.2023
At 01:55 on October 12, Il-76 transport aircraft (RA-76370) of the Russian Abakan Air cargo airline arrived at Babruisk airfield from Moscow (Sheremetyevo airport). The aircraft stayed in Belarus for more than a day, and at 09:30 on October 13 flew to Mineralniye Vody airport (Russia), and further – via Tunis to Mali.
According to the media, about 1000 Wagner mercenaries are stationed in Mali, who are there to help the local junta. Pro-Wagner Telegram channels publish a lot of videos and photos about the participation of the mercenaries in battles on the territory of Mali.
We should also note the following:
- Babruisk airfield is almost never used by Russian aviation. The plane of Abakan Air was the first Russian plane to arrive at the airfield in 2023.
- The distance from the camp of PMC Wagner in Tsel village to Babruisk airfield is about 65 kilometers. This is the closest operating airfield to the deployment site of the mercenaries.
- Users on social networks link flights of the Il-76 aircraft to PMC Wagner. For example, in summer 2023, it was spotted in Djibouti and Entebbe (Uganda).
Thus, there is every reason to believe that the arrival of the Il-76 aircraft (RA-76370) of the Russian Abakan Air cargo airline in Belarus on October 12 was related to the activities of PMC Wagner. We may assume that the plane was transporting mercenaries from Belarus to Mali. This is the first recorded flight of such kind, which could really take some number of mercenaries from Belarus to Africa.
Information about the transfer of mercenaries of PMC Wagner from Belarus to Africa has been spread before.