Russia to send military to the Central African Republic by end of June
During a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative on the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov told journalists that the Russian military will be sent to the Central African Republic (CAR) by the end of July to participate in the UN mission, reports TASS news agency.
According to Bogdanov, 30 Russian peacekeepers will be sent to the CAR. "I think [this will happen] soon. However, I am not sure if this will happen by the end of this or next month," said the Deputy Minister.
On April 15, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed an order to send the Russian military group to the Central African Republic. According to the document, the deployment of peacekeepers in Central Africa will be financed by the UN. Withdrawal of the military from the Central African Republic will take place if their assistance "is not required because of changes in the international military-political situation."
On May 23, it became known that Russia will provide a batch of weapons to the CAR free of charge. RBC news agency reported, citing the second secretary of the Russian embassy in the CAR Viktor Tokmakov, that it should include firearms and ammunition.
In March last year, five Russian military and 170 civilian instructors were sent to the country to train the local army and to ensure the supply of weapons to the local government. At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry did not rule out the possibility of an increase in the number of Russian military specialists in the CAR. In October 2018, it became known that 60 additional military instructors will be sent to the CAR.
Last year several foreign media, including the French newspaper Le Monde, reported that employees of Russian private military structures, including the Russian Private Military Company Wagner, are present in the Central African Republic.
A military correspondent Orkhan Jemal together with the film crew (Kirill Radchenko and Alexander Rastorguev) went to the CAR to investigate this information in the summer of 2018. They were killed a few days after arriving in the country by unknown persons. The deaths of journalists are being investigated both in the Central African Republic and in Russia.