Putin replaces Russian ambassador to Central African Republic

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree nominating Vladimir Titorenko as a new Russian ambassador in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The previous ambassador, Sergei Lobanov has been relieved of his responsibilities. Lobanov was the Russian Ambassador in CAR from March 15th, 2011. Before that, he was the deputy director of the security department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also worked in the Russian embassies in India and Ghana.

On January 10th, the CAR Minister of National Defense, Marie-Noëlle Koyara stated that an agreement on military cooperation between the Central African Republic and Russia, signed in August, provides for the possibility of a Russian military base in the country.

After signing the agreement, a center was established in the city of Berengo where soldiers with the help of Russian instructors learn to handle weapons and combat techniques.

On July 31, 2018, Russian journalists Orhan Jemal, Kirill Radchenko and Alexander Rastorguev were killed in the Central African Republic. They were filming a documentary about the work of the private military company the Wagner Group.

Dozhd TV reported that the murder of Jemal, Rastprguev, and Radchenko might be attributed to another Russian private military company, the Patriot. The investigation of the Dossier center project sponsored by the Russian fugitive millionaire, Mikhail Khodorovsky found that a local gendarme was following Jemal, Rastorguev, and Radchenko in CAR and was in contact with their driver, as well as with an employee of one of the companies of Putin’s firend, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The PMC Wagner (or Wagner Group) is a private military company that operated first on Ukrainian territory, then in Syria. In June 2017, the PMC Wagner was included in the US sanctions list. Private security company Wagner is associated with the co-owner of the Concord group of companies, Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as Putin’s Chef. In November 2017, Prigozhin denied his links to the PMC Wagner. Before this, it became known that the CEO of the restaurant management company of Prigozhin’s holding company “Concord Management and Consulting” is Dmitry Ukin, the full namesake of the alleged commander of the PMC Wagner. A source close to Prigozhin confirmed that the new CEO of the company is the commander of the PMC.

  Russia, Putin, CAR, Africa, Prigozhin, Wagner private military company