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Secret Pentagon Documents Reveal Russian Mercenaries Seeking To Offer Their Services In Haiti


The Wagner Group, which fights for Russia in the Ukraine and recruits soldiers in prisons, intends to offer the Haitian government its help to combat local gangs.

By Dan DeLuce -

NBC News

Associates of the Russian mercenary group Wagner Group planned to visit the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti to seek possible government contracts that would allow them to fight local gangs, according to classified documents leaked by the United States.

The description of the Wagner Group's alleged interest in Haiti, just 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) south of Florida, is one of several references to mercenaries in Defense Department documents that have surfaced online in recent weeks.

Another document refers to the friction between the mercenary group, led by a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Army.

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The Biden government claims the documents appear to include highly classified material.

It is still unclear how the documents found their way to a private online chat in March.

A senior official said that although the documents appear real, they may have been altered.

NBC News, sister network to Noticias Telemundo, has obtained more than 50 of the documents.

Many of them appear to be slides prepared by the US Army Joint Chiefs of Staff and refer to information obtained from a number of US intelligence agencies. 

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At the end of February, representatives of the Wagner Group were planning

to "travel discreetly to Haiti to assess the possibility of entering into contracts with the Haitian government to fight local gangs

," according to one of the documents, citing security force reports.

[US Officials Believe Secret Ukraine Documents “Leaked” Online Are Real]

Units of this organization are playing a leading role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, recruiting prisoners for bloody ground assaults around Bakhmut.

In Africa they have been deployed in the Central African Republic and Mali.

But the leaked document suggests that it had ambitions to extend its reach much closer to the Americas, off the southern coast of the United States, in Haiti.

Haiti has been in a chaotic spiral in recent years, with heavily armed gangs seizing control of the capital. 

Another document, citing signals intelligence, said Russian defense officials were considering how to respond to claims by Wagner's owner Yevgeny Prighozin, an ex-convict and Putin ally, that the Defense Ministry was not supplying enough ammunition to his troops in the Ukraine.

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Prighozin had accused the Defense officials of treason for withholding weapons.

Defense officials proposed doubling the ammunition supplied to Wagner and making a public statement.

Later, Prighozin publicly boasted that he had gotten away with it.

Russian soldiers from the Wagner Group in Soledar, Ukraine, in a picture released on January 11. Concord via Telegram

US intelligence agencies have declined to comment on the details in the documents.

The FBI has launched an investigation into the leak, and the Pentagon has launched a review to assess the potential harm caused by the disclosure.

NBC News cannot independently confirm the details outlined in the documents.

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The Russian embassy has not responded to requests for comment on the intelligence information contained in the documents.

According to another leaked document, Wagner's staff met with Turkish contacts in February to purchase weapons and equipment from Turkey for the company's operations in Ukraine and Mali.

NBC News previously reported that the documents showed the Wagner Group was seeking weapons from Turkey, a member of the NATO alliance.

The documents also allege that the mercenary group planned to resume recruiting convicts for units deployed in Ukraine.

The embassies of Haiti, Mali and Turkey did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-04-13

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