According to the Insider, images have emerged in the last twenty four hours purporting to show at least three Turkish-made TB-2 Bayraktar drones at the Sevare military base in Mali. Wagner forces have been stationed at Sevare since 2022 and we’re recently attacked by Islamist rebels earlier this year. However, according to sources known to Insider, after the death of Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhi, at least this base and it’s valuable drones have been turned over to the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The images, dated on August 30th, show a Russian MoD Mi-8 delivering at least one additional Tb-2 drone to the airfield. The Mali government had confirmed in state-owned media earlier this year that it had purchased two of these drones.
These claims shed light on the future of Wagner in Africa as the Russian MoD must balance the benefits of using PMCs with the disastrous attempted coup. While is it unlikely that the Russian MoD will completely halt the use of Wagner and other PMCs in Africa, the absorption of strategic level assets in Mali could provide a blueprint for other assets, especially strategic and tactical surface-to-air missiles in Libya.