President Vladimir Putin signed the decree to send a group of 30 Russian soldiers to Central Africa. They will serve as part of the UN mission. The decree is published on the official internet-portal of legal information
“The Russian Ministry of Defense is to send to the UN mission up to 30 servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces as liaison officers, military observers and staff officers”, the order says. The funding for the stay of the Russian military in the Central African Republic will be at the expense of the UN.
By another decree, Putin ordered to send up to five Russian servicemen to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.
In both cases, the Russian Ministry of Defense has the right to withdraw the Russian troops from the UN forces “in case if participation of the servicemen in the peacekeeping activities becomes impractical due to changes in the international military-political situation”.
In 2018, a number of foreign media representatives, including the newspaper Le Monde, reported that there were Russian private military structures informally present in the country, including the Wagner Group, known for participation in the conflict in Syria. With the aim to investigate the presence of the Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic, the military correspondent Orhan Dzhemal was sent to this country in the summer of 2018 with the filming crew. At the end of July, a few days after arriving in the country, they were killed by unidentified individuals on the road leading to one of the likely locations of the mercenaries in the CAR.