RUSSIA’S Wagner mercenaries are still waging a secret war earning £8million a month to reign terror for brutal warlords in Mali. 

It’s a standard play for the mercenary army that terrorises, maims and murders on behalf of the Russian state in exchange for blood gold to feed Putin’s war machine, experts told The Sun.

The Wagner Group, which for years was ruled by oligarch and warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin until he met his fiery end in August, has spent decades secretly digging their claws into Africa.

Their haunting black insignia has been seen stomping all over democracy and stirring proxy wars across Central and West Africa.

Mostly recently, the poverty-stricken and failed state of Mali has become a zombie host for the Russian state’s spiky tentacles.

And dirty business is booming.

In late 2021, the military junta who took power in a coup invited Wagner to bring in its weapons and hardened fighters to crush the Islamic State terror group.

In reality, they booted out the last of the UN peacekeeping force and France’s troops and propped up Mali’s corrupt military regime – leaving a succession of atrocities in their dusty wake.

US intelligence claims this so-called “security” costs Mali £8million per month.

The de-facto army offers a “broad portfolio” of “violence, atrocities and human rights violations,” according to Professor Salvador Sánchez Tapi, a conflict analysis expert at the University of Navarra.

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