Wagner Group: the privatisation of war

Not only Russian soldiers but also mercenaries from the Wagner Group founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin are fighting in the war against Ukraine. Partly recruited from prisons, these soldiers have a reputation for being particularly brutal. Commentators voice concern about the increasing use of private armies.

Open/close all quotes
El País (ES) /

Masters of those without hope

El País observes this latest trend with horror:

“Where there are failed states, precious minerals, raw materials and young people without a present or a future - that's where the Wagner Group turns up. ... Its speciality is sending cannon fodder to the fronts so that the Kremlin troops can lay out carpets of bullet-riddled corpses in the hope that there won't be enough bullets left to fire at them. It recruits where there is no hope: in the prisons of Russia or the slums of Africa. ... Russia's privatisation of the war is reaching unprecedented levels.”

LRT (LT) /

Moving towards oligarchic war

Private military companies (PMC) are pushing Russia into a dangerous chaos, writes political scientist Gintautas Mažeikis on LRT:

“If there are PMCs, people assume that they have been commissioned by Vladimir Putin directly or through people close to him. ... PMCs that grow up with oligarchic capital breed new little dictators - little Putins - and create the conditions for an oligarchic war. The military companies are moving their organisational and business centres and their security systems to Russia, to centres in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sevastopol and Yekaterinburg. The oligarchs are gradually creating their own military structures and trying to collaborate with the corrupt military and security systems to cause disruptions from within.”