Ukraine conflict: MoD announces 'significant change' in role of Wagner Group amid Russian invasion

The Ministry of Defence has announced that the Wagner Group’s role in the Ukraine conflict has changed significantly since the start of the conflict.

The Institute for the Study of War, based in Washington DC, reported that the Russians are using mercenaries from the shadowy Wagner Group in the Ukraine conflict, and have believed to use their influence throughout military operations.

The Military of Defence (MoD) have stated that Russian troop shortage has seen a change in role for the private military group that was hit with a raft of sanctions in March this year.

“Since March, Russian private military company (PMC) Wagner Group has operated in eastern Ukraine in coordination with the Russian military. Wagner has likely been allocated responsibility for specific sectors of the front line, in a similar manner to normal army units.

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“This is a significant change from the previous employment of the group since 2015, when it typically undertook missions distinct from overt, large-scale regular Russian military activity.

"Wagner’s role has probably changed because the Russian MoD has a major shortage of combat infantry, however Wagner forces are highly unlikely to be sufficient to make a significant difference in the trajectory of the war.”

Russia carried out a series of deadly strikes across Ukraine last night as Ukraine forces stepped up its efforts to retake the occupied southern Kherson region.

Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 7, 2022. Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine say that at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the fighting for Mariupol have been killed by Ukrainian shelling. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, File)

Five people were killed and 26 injured when missiles struck the central city of Kropyvnytskyi, officials said. Three people died in Bakhmut, in the east.

Near Kyiv, 15 people were hurt at a military base.