connoisseur of secrets

Wagner’s Dmitri Sytyi, Prigozhin’s right-hand man, back in Bangui

By Mathieu Olivier, Mathieu Olivier

Posted on May 2, 2023 15:25

 © Dmitri Sytyi, one of the Wagner Group’s bossed in the Central African Republic, surrounded by deputies at the National Assembly, in Bangui on 15 October 2021. AFP
Dmitri Sytyi, one of the Wagner Group’s bossed in the Central African Republic, surrounded by deputies at the National Assembly, in Bangui on 15 October 2021. AFP

Targeted by a letter bomb in December 2022, the Wagner group executive was evacuated to Russia for medical reasons. According to our information, Dmitry Syty has just returned to Bangui, where he has resumed his activities with Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s government.

Dmitry Syty is back in the Central African Republic. According to local sources, the head of the Wagner Group’s “civilian” branch in the CAR returned to Bangui at the end of April, having been evacuated for medical reasons in December 2022, after being the target of a letter bomb attack.

On 16 December, the explosion in the offices of the Russian House in Bangui resulted in injuries to Syty’s hand, from which he was transferred to a Bangui hospital before his evacuationo to Russia. Yevgeny Prigozhin immediately accused French intelligence services of being behind the attack and declared France a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

An orchestrated return…

An official investigation was launched by Central African authorities, but no action was ultimately taken.

At the beginning of March, Syty reappeared in a video interview given to Russia Today France, in which he announced in French that he wanted to return to the CAR as soon as possible.

A month later, on 8 April, Prigozhin spoke again about his right-hand man in a letter addressed to President Emmanuel Macron.

The oligarch, a close ally of Vladimir Putin’s, asked France’s chief executive to place his lieutenant’s son – currently residing in France with his mother – under protection, on the basis that his father had been the target of “terrorists [who] had tried to commit an attack against [him].”

This letter – provocative in nature – had already made its rounds on social networks and was taken up by Wagner’s communication specialists.

Political activity resumes

Back in  CAR, Syty – who manages propaganda-related and commercial affairs of the mercenary group in the country – immediately resumed his political activities.

According to our sources, he has resumed contact with the country’s most Russophile ministers in Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s government, including the Minister of Livestock and Animal Health, Hassan Bouba.

Syty returned to Bangui in a particularly charged context. The Wagner group has faced scrutiny from all sides, accused by Western intelligence services of supporting General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (Hemeti), in his civil conflict with Sovereignty Council President Abdel Fattah al-Burhane in neighbouring Sudan.

Although Wagner’s military operations are managed in CAR by another Prigozhin lieutenant, Vitali Perfilev, Syty remains a connoisseur of Sudanese military secrets and the intertwining of the latter with the rebel groups active in the CAR.

In 2018, he participated in the discussions that led to the Central African peace agreement signed in Khartoum in February 2019 and broken off at the end of 2020.

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