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Leader of Wagner in Belarus was born in Ukraine, fought in Chechnya, Syria – media

Sergey “Pioner,” who Prigozhin says heads Wagner’s Belarusian direction, was born into a military family in Ukraine and led Wagner’s operations in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta
Sergey Chubko, leader of Wagner in Belarus. Credit: Nasha Niva
Sergey Chubko, leader of Wagner in Belarus. Credit: Nasha Niva
Leader of Wagner in Belarus was born in Ukraine, fought in Chechnya, Syria – media

Journalists from Belarusian media outlet Nasha Niva and the monitoring project All Eyes on Wagner have revealed that the Wagner Group PMC in Belarus is being led by a 46-year-old Ukrainian-born man named Sergey Chubko, who previously fought in Syria and Chechnya.

The monitoring group reported that during a gathering at a camp near Osipovichi on 19 July, Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, referred to the person in charge of the Belarusian direction as “Sergey with the nickname ‘Pioner’.”

According to the monitoring group’s documents from an unnamed source, this refers specifically to Sergey Chubko.

The investigation by “Nasha Niva” indicates that Chubko was born into a military family in Ukraine’s Chernivtsi and later moved to Russia’s Novorossiysk after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1994, he joined the Russian army as a contract soldier and subsequently fought in Chechnya.

After leaving the military in 2002, Chubko worked for a private security company. Surprisingly, in 2003, despite lacking a higher education, he became the head of a municipal administration committee in Novorossiysk, and in 2005, he became the deputy head of a rural district administration.

“Nasha Niva” also reports that in 2011, there were attempts to strip Chubko of his Russian citizenship due to alleged concealment of his Ukrainian passport. I

In December 2014, he co-founded the organization “Cossacks” in Novorossiysk, whose members volunteered to fight on the side of Russia after the formation of its puppet entities in eastern Ukraine, the Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics.”

In January 2017, Chubko joined the Wagner Group and was sent to Syria, where after a year of service, he was appointed to lead Wagner’s military operations in Eastern Ghouta. In 2019, he was transferred to Libya to establish another Wagner base and became the leader of mercenaries in that region.

  • Wagner, once playing a prominent role in Russia’s assault on Ukraine, has relocated to Belarus after its financier Yevgeny Prigozhin announced a “march” on Moscow on the evening of 23 June 2023. He initially claimed that Wagner’s headquarters were allegedly shelled by Russian forces but later reached an agreement with the Russian authorities and withdrew his troops.
  • In response to the mutiny, Putin allowed Prigozhin to leave to Belarus. The Wagner group members who wanted to follow were allowed to leave, as well, while the others were required to become part of the Russian Army. Belarusian self-declared President Alyaksandr Lukashenka stated that the Wagner Group would train the Belarusian army.
  • On 15 July, border guards confirmed the arrival of Wagner Group fighters in Belarus.

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