A Chinese firm has been accused of selling satellites for intelligence to Russia's mercenary group Wagner.
The sale is reported to have occured in November 2022, in a contract that saw two satellites and their images, aiding Wagner's intelligence work as the organization sought to push Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The satellite images were also used to assist Wagner's operations in Africa according to a document seen by AFP.
The contract signed on November 15 2022, shows that Beijing Yunze Technology Co. Ltd sold two high-resolution observation satellites belonging to the Chinese space giant Chang Guang Satellite Technology to Nika-Frut, a company then part of Wagner's late leader Yevgeny Prigozhin's commercial empire.
Wagner is believed to have even ordered images of Russian territory at the end of May 2023, all along the route between the Ukrainian border and Moscow that was seized by its forces at the end of June, during a brief mutiny.
The mutiny was aborted within 24 hours and marked the definitive break between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Wagner's late leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The break has also led to uncertainty about the fture of the mercenary group in Africa where it was gaining a footing with operations in Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic and Mali