The “Wagner line,” a series of anti-tank fortifications that the Wagner PMC started building in occupied Ukraine, has been extended to Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, a video shared by Russian Telegram channel Riafan (affiliated with Wagner financiers Prigozhin) shows.
The first section of 1.5 km was created in Luhansk Oblast, and according to the plans it will stretch out for about 200 km.
According to the plans, it should run from occupied Svitlodarsk, along the administrative border of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts to Lysychansk, and then along the southern bank of the Siversky Donets to Luhansk and the Ukrainian-Russian border.
But now it is being built not only in the occupied territories, but also in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, as one of the leaders of Wagner PMC Andrey Bogatov told on camera in a video showing the placement of concrete anti-tank pyramids in what was said to be Belgorod Oblast.
As the Institute for Study of War reported,
Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin has created rifts within the Russian government by publicizing this so-called “Wagner line.” ISW notes that in extending the line to Belgorod Oblast, Prigozhin may be pandering to the demands of the Russian nationalist community, who accuse the Russian government of insufficient efforts to protect the Belgorod Oblast border, while “theKremlin is likely attempting to maintain its limited framing of the war.”
“Russian maps show that Prigozhin’s proposed Wagner Line extension would defend the border between Belgorod Oblast and Ukraine’s Sumy, Kharkiv, and Luhansk oblasts, but notably would not cover northern Luhansk Oblast up to the line of contact, placing it at odds with Kremlin promises to defend all of Luhansk. Other maps show that the Luhansk-Donetsk Wagner Line segment will largely only defend the territory of Luhansk Oblast that Russian proxy forces controlled prior to their February 24 full-scale invasion. The line covers some newly occupied settlements like Lysychansk, Zolote, and Popasna, but excludes Kreminna and Sievierodonetsk.
Prigozhin and Wagner commanders are likely preparing to defend the positions they think they can realistically hold, not the present extent of Russian lines or all of the territory the Kremlin claims to have annexed, and are likely not confident in Russia’s ability to defend settlements north of Lysychansk such as Kreminna and Svatove,” ISW notes.