'All Eyes On Wagner' map charts mercenary group's crimes in Middle East, Africa, Ukraine

'All Eyes On Wagner' map charts mercenary group's crimes in Middle East, Africa, Ukraine
While thousands of Russian mercenary fighters have been deployed to Ukraine, the Wagner Group still maintains a significant presence across the MENA region.
2 min read
24 April, 2022
The Wagner Group has been present in the Middle East for over 5 years, according to the new map [Getty]

A new open-source investigations outfit launched a new interactive map this week that documents the Russian mercenary network Wagner Group's activities across the globe, including in the Middle East and North Africa.

The map by ‘All Eyes On Wagner’ - a project launched by French open-source intelligence outfit OpenFacto - collates claims of human rights abuse committed by the group in the last five years.

"The project aims at verifying and documenting claims of alleged human rights incidents, economic predation and expansion vectors in countries where Wagner mercenaries are established," All Eyes On Wagner said on its website.

Most recently, the group has been accused of lacing urban areas in Libya with landmines that led to the death of two young children in Ein Zera near Tripoli in February 2022. 

The map charts the beginning of the Wagner Group’s active involvement in the Middle East after Russia came to the aid of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the country’s gruelling civil war. 

The group has been accused of war crimes in Syria, including torture, massacres and body desecrations dating back to 2017.  

It has since been involved in the Libyan conflict for several years, and was accused of further crimes while assisting warlord Khalifa Haftar’s efforts to seize Tripoli between 2019 and 2020. 

As of December 2021, there were around 7,000 Wagner mercenaries still stationed in Libya. 

Between 10,000 and 20,000 Wagner troops are also believed to be fighting in Ukraine alongside mercenaries hired from Syria and Libya.

And as many as 3,000 mercenaries may have died in the Russian invasion of Ukraine so far, according to investigative journalism group Bellingcat. 

Open-source intelligence - also known commonly as OSINT - is a tool used to investigate events using information that can legally be gathered from free, public sources about individuals or organisations.

OpenFacto has previously investigated the Assad regime’s chemical weapons programmes.