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‘Clear strategy’: Italy blames Russia’s Wagner group for surge in migrants

Italian defence minister Guido Crosetto called Russia’s use of mercenaries as proxies on countries supporting Ukraine a ‘clear strategy of hybrid warfare’ that has increased migration

Kate Plummer
Tuesday 14 March 2023 11:48 GMT
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Wagner is said to operate in several African countries, including Libya, Mali, and the Central African Republic
Wagner is said to operate in several African countries, including Libya, Mali, and the Central African Republic (PRIGOZHIN PRESS SERVICE)

The Italian government has blamed Russia’s Wagner mercenary group for provoking a rise in migration from Africa to Italy.

In a statement, defence minister Guido Crosetto called Russia’s use of mercenaries as proxies on countries supporting Ukraine a “clear strategy of hybrid warfare” that has led to migrants making the journey across the Mediterranean.

“I think it is now safe to say that the exponential increase in the migratory phenomenon departing from African shores is also, to a not insignificant extent, part of a clear strategy of hybrid warfare that the Wagner division is implementing, using its considerable weight in some African countries,” Crosetto said.

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