Security firms and private military companies set up by Russia's largest state-owned corporations, former military personnel and businessmen have sent their fighters to fight Ukraine to prove loyalty to the Kremlin.
Writes about it Wall Street Journal.
According to the publication, Russia's Gazprom has set up its PMCs in recent months, and existing defense firms controlled by former officers of the Russian army have recruited new fighters.
According to soldiers, analysts and former Russian officials, most of these fighters were sent to fight in Ukraine as auxiliary forces under the command of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
These companies are partly imitating Wagner However, by sending their people to war, corporations are demonstrating loyalty to Putin.
Journalists analyzed public job advertisements and found out that recruits are paid significantly higher salaries than Wagner soldiers.
"There is a desperate need to gather fighters, and Putin wants to do it without conscripts or another round of mobilization," says Mark Galeotti, a British political scientist and a leading expert on Russia.
In February this year, the Kremlin instructed Gazprom to create its own security firm, one of whose divisions is now called Potok. Two divisions of the security company Gazprom were transferred under the direct control of the Ministry of Defense of Russia. This was told by Alexey Tkachenko, who worked at the "Potok" and was sent to fight in Ukraine, and later was captured.
A few weeks after the Russian authorities' decision to create Gazprom's private security companies, its recruits said online that they were fighting on the front line.
In a video posted in Ukrainian publics on April 25, Tkachenko, who hails from Orenburg in the Urals, said he was a security guard at Gazprom when he was hired at Potok. Then he was trained at the Russian base in Tambov and sent to fight in Bakhmut, where, together with other invaders, he took up Wagner positions.
Captured Gazprom recruits say that the Wagnerites threatened them with execution for retreating from the onslaught of Ukrainian forces.
In particular, the above-mentioned Tkachenko said that as a result of mortar shelling, he received shrapnel wounds in his eyes and arm. According to him, he was abandoned by his comrades-in-arms, and he crawled to surrender to the Ukrainian army. "I want to tell my colleagues at Gazprom: don't go to Ukraine, stay at home," the captured occupier said in the video.
The security company Redoubt was a security contractor for Russian firms in the Middle East. It was founded by former Russian paratroopers and military intelligence officers in 2008.
According to Russian opposition leader and human rights activist Vladimir Osechkin, the company was redeveloped into a battlegroup of 1000,<> fighters to participate in the war against Ukraine.
The Patriot is a direct competitor to the Wagner Group. This PMC works closely with the Russian Ministry of Defense and military intelligence. It consists mainly of former Russian special forces.
In April, it was deployed near Vuhledar, according to Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern Group of Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
From a legal point of view, PMCs in Russia are illegal, but security companies have received an unofficial blessing from the Kremlin for their activities.
Earlier it was reported that the newly created company "Veteran", which is part of the PMC "Redoubt" of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, operates on the flanks of Bakhmut.
It was also reported that from the private military company "Wagner", as before was a powerful organization, only the brand remained.
- In Bakhmut, competition between mercenaries of Russian PMCs is growing: ISW named the consequences
- "The Wagner group was destroyed": a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine spoke about the situation in the Bakhmut direction
- "Crusaders" of the Russian Orthodox Church: a new private military company is being formed in Russia
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