Russia seeks greater influence in Africa, and the Wagner Group is likely to be as much a part of this.
In the Central African Republic, for example, 1,890 "Russian instructors" are supporting government troops in the ongoing civil war.
In Libya, up to 1,200 Wagner mercenaries are believed to be fighting on the side of rebel leader Khalifa Hifter.
In Mali, the pro-Russian, anti-Western military junta has also brought hundreds of Wagner fighters into the country, where they are also accused of serious human rights violations.
In Chad, The Wall Street Journal, citing US intelligence sources, reported that the Wagner group was working with local rebels to plan a coup.
The Wagner group has been raking in massive profits with precious tropical timber from the Central African Republic. According to the report, the government in Bangui granted a subsidiary unrestricted logging rights across 187,000 hectares (722 square miles).
In the case of the Ndassima gold mine a concession was withdrawn from a Canadian mining company in favor of one from Madagascar that appears to be a Wagner subsidiary.
The First Industrial Company, which produces beer and spirits in Bangui, is apparently registered to a Russian businessman tied to Wagner.
For African governments, it can be quite attractive to pay for Wagner's services with mining rights or market access,
A representative of the All Eyes on Wagner research collective said. "You don't have to withdraw money from your account. You can just say, 'Here, for 25, 50 or 100 years, you can exploit this mine without any problems.' "