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Journalists identify head of Wagner Group forces in Belarus as 46-year-old Ukraine native

Source: Meduza

Wagner Group’s units in Belarus are led by a man named Sergey Chubko who originally hails from Ukraine, according to the independent project All Eyes On Wagner, which tracks the paramilitary group’s activities.

On July 19, while addressing a group of fighters at a training camp near the Belarusian town of Asipovichy, Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said that a man named Sergey with the call sign “Pioneer” would become the group’s “chief in the Belarus direction.”

According to All Eyes On Wagner, Prigozhin was referring to Chubko, a 46-year-old who was born in Chernivtsi. Journalists from the Belarusian news outlet Nasha Niva reported that Chubko’s father fought with the Red Army in Afghanistan. After the USSR’s collapse, Chubko moved to Russia and settled in Novorossiysk. From 1994 to 2002, he served under contract in the Russian military and fought in Chechnya, among other places, before breaking his contract to join a private security company.

Beginning in 2003, Chubko was the head of Novorossiysk’s Youth Affairs Committee, and in 2005, he became the deputy head of the local government in the Myskhako rural district.

It’s unclear whether Chubko fought in Ukraine in 2014, but in December of that year, he helped found the Novorossiysk Cossack Society. In 2017, he joined Wagner Group and began fighting in Syria. He later fought with the mercenaries in Libya, where he led the group’s headquarters, and in 2021, he became the leader of Wagner’s operational division in the Central African Republic.  

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