Belarus creating an analog of the Wagner PMC

Private Security Company (PMC) “GardService,” which the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, allowed having weapons, increased the number of staff, and is preparing to participate in the Russian war. DW got some information about it.

This was told to DW by the United Transitional Cabinet of Defense and National Security representative, Valeri Sakhashchyk. According to his information, GardService personnel have been training for several months.

PMCs can be used in sabotage and reconnaissance groups

The employees of GardService are trained to participate in combat operations. The Training takes place at several Belarusian proving grounds. “I know that officers of the 5th Special Forces Brigade (based in Maryina Gorka, Minsk region – Ed.) train the employees of GardService at their training ground. 

In addition, the company has taken over the base of the former center for special Training of “Dynamo,” there are also active operations there,” says the representative of the United Transition Cabinet. 

According to him, the number of staff has increased significantly recently. Sakhashchyk assumes that there may be more than a thousand of them now: “Training and recruitment have been going on for several months. 

The personnel has been increased at the expense of officers, warrant officers, sergeants, and soldiers who served in the special operations forces and special units of the security agencies of Belarus.

The personnel of “GardService” may be used in subversive and reconnaissance groups and further for the assault as mercenaries of the Russian private military company (PMC) Wagner. Earlier, Valery Sakhashchik stated that Vladimir Putin “has invested a severe amount of money” in “GardServis” and created a “Belarusian analog of Wagner”.

Have Russian mercenaries arrived in Minsk?

Meanwhile, in the summer of 2022, the independent media reported from an anonymous employee of the GuardService, who claimed that in late July and August, the mercenaries from the Wagner PMC arrived in Minsk to train the PSC employees. 

(The fact that in August, the plane of the Russian PMC flew to Belarus was also reported by the Telegram-channel “MotolkoPomogi”). The source noted that at that time, about half a thousand people were in the “GardService” and that employees were rumored to have been promised business trips and a future salary of 10 thousand Belarusian rubles (about 3700 euros in equivalent).

“There appeared a certain person who began to send various media stories about how employees of the Wagner PMC are training the employees of “GardService.” As proof, he sent his ID card, where his photo, name, and surname were plastered over. 

It was impossible to identify this man, as well as how much truthful information he gave,” says the journalist of the Belarusian Investigative Center Alex Karpeko. He was involved in two investigations into the PSC.

What is known about “GardService

Private Security Company “GardService” appeared in Belarus in June 2020. At the same time, by personal decree, Alexander Lukashenko allowed its employees to carry, store and use service and civilian weapons, as well as special means and physical force “in the manner prescribed by law for paramilitary protection.”

Such privileges the company received were not accidental. According to Alexei Karpeko, GardService was created based on the private company Globalcastom-Management, one of the owners of which was the common-law wife of the then-head of the Presidential Affairs Department, Viktor Sheiman.

Before the presidential election, a private structure was needed in case of a not-very-favorable scenario for Lukashenka. “The PSC hired veterans of law enforcement agencies, security service of the President, special forces, special units of the KGB, Interior Ministry, State Border Committee,” says the journalist.

The company only employs “reliable” people

The company is headed by a former soldier of the special purpose brigade, the Security Director of Belgeopoisk, which used to do geological prospecting in Central Asia and Africa, Yevgeny Chernov.  

Soon Viktor Sheiman’s close friend, the head of the Foundation “Memory of Afghanistan” Alexander Metal, became the owner of GardService. “Metla has known Sheyman for a long time, and he constantly helps this foundation. Metla, in his time, opened the “Stalin Line,” notes the interlocutor of DW.

He also draws attention to the high level of secrecy in the “GuardService,” only “verified” people can get in. “I know several former security officials who tried to get a job there, but they were ignored – you need a certain background,” says Karpeko.

Despite this, the journalist discovered that the company was given a special training center, where special troops from Belarus and other countries, primarily African and South American, used to train. 
And in 2021, the Ministry of Internal Affairs published lists of weapons that GardService had. The list includes pistols, automatic rifles, and sniper rifles. If Belarus continues to be on the side of Russia, the Russian war will lead to the third world war.

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