Ghosts of War: how did the Russian private army in Syria

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Magazine 09 September 2016 9:34
Ilya Christmas . Anton Baev . Pauline Rusyaeva

Ghosts of War: how did the Russian private army in Syria

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PMCs in the world – a huge business, “private entrepreneurs” often substitute for the armed forces. In Russia, they are outlawed. But Syria has been run-in Russian prototype PMC – “Wagner Group”, and the government once again think about the legalization

The military part of the on farm Molkino Krasnodar Krai – modal object. Here deployed 10th separate special forces brigade of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Ministry of Defense, wrote “Times”. A few dozen meters from the federal highway “Don” – the first checkpoint on the way to the base. Then the road forks: the left – part owned by the town, to the right – the landfill, explains journalist RBC guard at a checkpoint. For polygon another checkpoint with guards armed with AK-74. During this camp PPC is a private military companies (PMCs), says one of the officers of the military unit.

On archival satellite service Google Earth images show that in August 2014 the camp was not. Operate it began around the middle of 2015, two RBC tell the interlocutor, who worked in the camp and familiar with his device. This two dozen tents under the flag of the Soviet Union, surrounded by a small fence with barbed wire, describes the database is one of them. On the territory there are several residential barracks, sentry tower, para dog trainers, training complex and parking for transport describes the military base of employees of private companies, who had been there.

In this structure, there is no official name, the name of its leader and the proceeds were not disclosed, and the very existence of the company, possibly the largest in the market, is not advertised: formally PMCs in the country is illegal. RBC magazine to figure out what is the so-called PMC Wagner, from what sources, and how it is funded and why you may receive the business of private military companies in Russia.

Mercenaries and “private traders”

Military man under Russian law can only work on the state. Mercenaries prohibited: for participation in armed conflict on the territory of the other country’s Criminal Code provides for up to seven years’ imprisonment (st.359), for the recruitment, training, financing a mercenary, “as well as their use in armed conflict or military operations” – up to 15 years . Other laws regulating the PMC, not in Russia.

The world situation is different: the principles of private military and security companies registered in the autumn of 2008 adopted “Montreux Document”. It was signed by 17 countries, including the United States, Britain, China, France and Germany (in Russia is not among them). The document allows the people who is not in the public service to provide services for the armed protection of facilities, maintenance of combat systems, training of personnel, and so on.

A report issued in 2011, the report of the UN annual market for private military services company analysts estimated in the amount of $ 20 billion to $ 100 billion, a nonprofit organization War on Want in 2016 – at $ 100-400 billion Figures are approximate:. For example, the United States Commission military contracts, on the data which the United Nations has relied in his report about the increasing number of human rights violations by mercenaries in 2011 noted that at the end of the financial year, the cost of contracts with private military companies only in Iraq and Afghanistan will exceed $ 206 billion. Revenue largest PMCs in the world – G4S Plc totaled $ 10.5 billion in 2015, in Russia it is comparable only with the same indicator of the “Bashneft” and a third more than the “Norilsk Nickel”.

G4S Employees in the world’s largest private military company in 2010 helped the cleared land near Kandahar in Afghanistan Photo: Reuters / Pixstream

Using the “privateers” characteristic of Western countries, where increasingly high rejection of large losses, explains the general director of the Center for Strategic Assessments and forecasts Sergey Grinyaev. More victims among the personnel of the armed forces can affect the decision to stop the operation and the withdrawal of troops, as was the case with the commandos who participated in the UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia, he said. In 1993, during the urban warfare in Mogadishu, the Americans lost 18 men, 80 soldiers were wounded, one was captured. This accelerated the withdrawal of US troops from the country. Such a situation can be avoided if it is not a regular army, and on private military companies Grinyaev sure.

Reduction of losses due to the use of PMCs soldiers – a common practice of applying, for example, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2008, the number of employees of private companies in these countries exceeds the number of US military personnel, and at least from 2010 on the “private owners” have to base percentage of dead and wounded, according to the data of the project Private Security Monitor the University of Denver (USA).

Difficulties legalization

The most recent attempt to legalize PMCs in Russia was made in March 2016, when the deputies of the “Fair Russia” Gennady Nosovka and Oleg Mikheev made to the State Duma a draft law on private military and security companies. The objectives of this activity document called “participation in national security through the implementation and provision of military and security operations and services,” the protection of Russia’s interests abroad, promotion of Russian PMCs to world markets, etc. However, according to the bill to ban these companies supposed to “participate directly in armed conflict, <…> in the territory of any State.” Licensing PMCs was engaged in the Ministry of Defense, to monitor the implementation of the law – the Federal Security Service and Prosecutor General’s Office.

The government opposed the adoption of the law, noting the withdrawal of the bill is contrary to Article 13 of Part 5 of the Constitution: “The creation and activities of public associations whose aims and actions are directed at <…> undermining the security of the state, creation of armed formations.” Not supported by deputies and colleagues relevant committees have indicated that the responsibilities of such companies are not separated from the functions of private security companies (private security companies), departmental security and National Guard troops.

The final decision on the document was not adopted – its consideration transferred in the fall, but the authors of the bill themselves decided to withdraw it. Spring document – this is the third attempt to legalize Nosovka PMCs in Russia, and the biography of the deputy did not associated with armed forces: unless “For Strengthening Military Cooperation” in 2014, he was awarded the Medal of the Ministry of Defense. MP hopes that he will be able to modify and resubmit the document in the autumn. In a conversation with RBC magazine, he said that during the discussion of the bill on the round tables with the participation of specialized agencies of the security forces were generally supportive of the initiative but asked to fix all sorts of bugs. “There is a sharp denial, but, for example, representatives of the GRU and the FSB said that now it is not necessary to aggravate the situation and open up a Pandora’s box,” – said Nosovka.

From the idea of legalizing PMCs authorities do not intend to give up, says FSB officer familiar with the situation, and confirmed the source in the Ministry of Defence: the issue worked out, they say. Despite the absence of a law, in Russia there is a private military company. They do the same work as that of foreign counterparts – from escorting ships coming through the Gulf of Aden near the coast of Somalia, where pirates are operating, to guard facilities in Africa and South-East Asia.

The Russian market of PMCs extremely small in scope, explains Boris Chikin, co-owner of a private military company Moran Security Group (MSG). Real military companies in Russia does not exist, insists Oleg Krinitsyn, the owner of another major PMCs – “SCR-Group”. The main activities of domestic firms are abroad. For example, employees of another major PMCs – “Anti-Terror Center” in the 2000s, carried out orders in Iraq, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and other countries.

To make it easier to work abroad, the Russian PMCs are registered in offshore subsidiaries. In particular, the main founder of MSG with a share of 50% is Neova Holdings Ltd (British Virgin Islands). The financial side of their business owners Russian PMCs do not disclose, reporting firms in the database “SPARK-Interfax,” and no foreign registries.


Russian troops were not involved in full-scale ground operation in Syria, but in March 2016 the commander of the Russian group in the country, General Aleksandr Dvornikov said that certain tasks are performed by the soldiers on the ground. “I will not hide the fact that in Syria there are divisions and our special operations forces (Ministry of Defense of highly mobile troops -. RBC)”, – he said in an interview to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”. According to him, the military carried out additional exploration projects for air strikes, engaged the aircraft pointing to targets in remote areas and have decided to “other special tasks.”

“Tasks” in Syria carried Chupov Sergei, who died there in February 2016, he told RBC his friend. According to him, Chupov served in the internal troops of the Ministry of Interior, but resigned in the early 2000s. This information was confirmed to RBC another familiar Chupova. Defense Ministry spokesman did not comment on the information about the victim. Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Southern District in response to a request RBK reported that Chupov did not appear in the Russian group in Syria lists. Interlocutor RBC, who knew the soldier, says a veteran of internal troops, the last two Chechen campaigns, was in Syria as an employee of a private military company known as a “group of Wagner.”

Wagner – call the head unit, but in fact his name is Dmitriy Utkin before he served in the Pskov brigade GRU say four RBC interlocutor personally familiar with Wagner. In 2013, Utkin, who had left by the time the Armed Forces, went to the Middle East with a group of fighters recruited by “Slavic body.” This subsidiary registered in Hong Kong Slavonic Corps Limited, wrote “Kommersant”. The company entered into the register of legal entities in 2012, its director was not a citizen Anton Andreev Russia.

The leaders of the “Slavic housing” Yevgeny Sidorov Vadim Gusev, the former managers of Moran Security Group, in employment was promised employees that they will protect the pipeline and warehouse in Deir ez-Zor – a city in the east of Syria, stated “Kommersant” and said source RBC MSG. Instead, the security of energy facilities 267 fighters “body” was ordered to support the rebels near the village of Al-Suhna in Homs province, the source says RBC. Without the necessary equipment and obsolete weapons, they were ambushed by the militants of the “Islamic state” (an organization banned in Russia). In October 2013, the soldiers of the “Slavic body” left Syria.

In January 2015, Sidorov and Gusev were convicted in Russia for the very st.359 Criminal Code and received by the colony three years. Other participants of the event are not brought to justice.

“Wagner Group”

For the first time a “group of Wagner” and its involvement in the Syrian war in October 2015 wrote “Fontanka”: with reference to anonymous sources, the publication claimed that the former employees of the “Slavic housing” later seen among the “polite people” in the Crimea at the time of the events February- March 2014, and a year later with a small – in the south-east of Ukraine, already as an independent unit. The participation of the “Group of Wagner” in the fighting on the side of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republic, also citing unnamed sources at the end of 2015 wrote The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). In the same article WSJ journalists told about the death of the Middle East, nine members of the “Group of Wagner.” The Russian Defense Ministry that information called “an injection of.”

Base in Molkino was undeveloped shortly after the completion of the active phase of the operation Luhansk – in mid-2015, says one of the officers who worked in the “group of Wagner.” In this camp the soldiers are trained before going to Syria, explained RBC FSB officer and one of the soldiers who served under the “Wagner”.

The establishment of full-fledged PMCs in Russia was discussed many times, but a breakthrough in this regard took place after the Crimean events of 2014, which are proven GRU unit, the source said RBC close to the organization. It GRU secretly oversees “Wagner Group” confirmed RBC Defense Ministry officer and FSB officer, adding that the squad came after “the world has escalated the situation.”

In the Middle East, “a group of Wagner’s” appeared shortly before the fall of 2015, Russia began officially expand their base, says the Ministry of Defence officer and confirmed by a source familiar with the transaction. In total, near Latakia and Aleppo located almost 2.5 thousand. Man leading the operation staff is not only the GRU and the FSB but, he adds.

The war in Syria began in the spring of 2011. During the conflict, more than 5 million people became refugees. The most violent fighting took place around Aleppo Photo: Reuters / Pixstream

Officially set in the squad, “Wagner’s” no one declared, but the rumor quickly dispersed by groups in social networks, users are actively interested in the “how to get to the PMC Wagner.” Shortage of wishing it was not: in 2016 in Syria were at the same time from 1 thousand to 1.6 thousand employees of PMCs, depending on the intensity of the situation, said a source familiar with the operation… The Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request to RBC, whether in Syria war ‘citizens who are not serving in the Armed Forces of Russia “, and is it true that these men are trained on the basis of the Krasnodar Territory.

The money to the soldiers, “Wagner Group” paid out in cash, officially they never have been issued, and the procurement of weapons and equipment are classified, says RBC Defense Ministry officer confirmed two source, familiar with the progress of the operation. According to them, spending taken by the state and “senior businessmen.” Calling them names RBC sides refuse even in an informal conversation with the recorder is turned off.

“Fontanka” in the summer of 2016 wrote about the connection of one of the entrepreneurs’ group Wagner “: The publication claims that in the past two years, Wagner moved to Russia, accompanied by people working in the St. Petersburg restaurateur Eugene Prigogine. Surrounded by the commander of PMC “Fontanka” I discovered security chief of one of the companies Prigogine Evgeny Gulyaev and his subordinates.

Prigogine-owned company “Concord M” – one of the main suppliers of power to control the affairs of the Russian president, and plant food “Concord” serves Moscow schools. Prigogine companies are almost monopoly in the market of school feeding of the capital, as well as some of the largest service providers for the Ministry of Defence: the company imported food and doing the cleaning in the military units .

For private investors PMC funding – a way to prove their loyalty, explains the source in the Defense Ministry, for example, for closer cooperation with the Defense Ministry. RBC magazine revealed no evidence that the firm provided financial support Prigogine PMCs. Moreover, if in 2014 the volume of services provided to related companies businessman Ministry of Defence and its entities, amounted to 575 million rubles., Then in 2015 the volume of such contracts reached 68.6 billion rubles., From the data “SPARK-Marketing”.

These contracts make up the lion’s share of all public contracts, which got 14 companies (link most of these firms can be traced by Prigogine “SPARK-Interfax”, the other entities controlled by those who at various times worked as a restaurateur, wrote “Fontanka”). In 2015, the total amount won by their tenders amount to 72.2 billion rubles.

Hybrid financing

Charges of PMCs numbering several thousand people is difficult to calculate. “Wagner Group” does not pay for the lease of buildings and site, say two RBC source, familiar with the camp device. Public and private camp units are located in the Krasnodar region, according to the Russian State Register, in a single area of about 250 square meters. km. For information about who owns the land, there are no, but several neighboring areas are decorated in the territorial department of the Defense Ministry of Forestry.

The military department is engaged in the landfill equipment. It follows from the documents on the procurement portal, in the spring of 2015 the Ministry of Defence carried out the corresponding auction in the amount of 294 million rubles., He was the winner of “Garrison”, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Defense structure. Alterations undergone and base Molkino: the landfill was spent RUB 41.7 million.

The content of the database itself, as well as other military units, and on the balance of the Ministry Sergey Shoigu. Tenders for services for garbage removal and transportation of the laundry, sanitation, cleaning, heating are carried out packets to several tens or hundreds of military units, grouped on a territorial basis. On average, in 2015-2016 War Department has spent on the military one of the 14.7 million rubles. excluding secret contracts should be of procurement documentation six auctions, which refers to the base in the Krasnodar region.

On one part of the waste disposal of the Southern Military District, the Ministry of Defense in 2015-2016 has allocated an average of about 410 thousand. Rub .: winner of the tender was the company “Megaline”. Co-owners of the company were “Concord Management and Consulting” and “Lahti”, which belonged to 50% until the end of 2015. Until mid-2011, the owner of 14 percent stake in the company was the first Eugene Prigogine, and he already controlled 80% “Lahti” until September of 2013.

Care of one of the military district in 2015-2016 there were an average of 1.9 million rubles, and technical. Maintenance facilities heating – 1.6 million rubles. The winners of the tenders for these services became the company “Ekobalt” and “Teplosintez” respectively (the latter, according to the data of “Fontanka”, controlled by “Megaline” employees). The most expensive item on the camp maintenance costs – cleaning. In 2015, on the cleaning of one of the Southern District of the Ministry of Defense has allocated an average of 10.8 million rubles. Contracts for cleaning Molkino have been concluded with the company “Agat” (a company registered in Lyubertsy, connection to could not be traced by Prigogine and his entourage).

Unlike database service contracts for the supply of food to the extent not available on the public procurement portal – this information falls under military secrecy, because it allows you to determine the number of fighters. On site in July there was an advertisement for the recruitment of workers in the military canteen in Molkino. Employer listed company “Restoranservis Plus”. A similar vacancy in May was posted at one of the Krasnodar portals. The telephone number listed in one of the ads, the correspondent of RBC said a man named Alexey, confirmed that “Restoranservis Plus” is looking for workers in the canteen of the military unit. The telephone number of the company coincides with the numbers of the two companies related to Prigogine, – “Megaline” and “Concord Management and Consulting.”

Does Krasnodar camp PMC of the same state orders that GRU camp on the same basis, is not clear. Interlocutor RBC familiar with the device part, claims that the camps are similar in number and size, so the average cost of service applicable to the basis of “the group of Wagner.” Most of the auctions, which is referred to a military unit in Molkino could earn the firm related to Prigogine, – “Megaline” and “Teplosintez”:. These companies in 2015-2016 concluded state contracts for 1.9 billion rubles, follows from procurement documentation.

Asked whether the company restaurateur relate to “the group of Wagner,” a senior federal official just smiled and said: “You must understand Prigogine very tasty feed.” The companies’ Restoranservis Plus “,” Ekobalt “,” Megaline “,” Teplosintez “,” Agate “and” Concord Management “did not respond to a request for RBC.

Price issue

If contracts for the base service pass through the electronic platform, the wage costs of PMC soldiers is almost impossible to keep track of: salary issued mainly in cash, claiming the men of the “Group of Wagner.” Part of the money transferred to the instant card issuance, which indicated the owner’s name, and they are issued to foreign individuals, said one soldier and confirms Defense Ministry officer. Maps without a name produces a number of Russian banks, including Sberbank and Raiffeisen Bank, stated on their official websites.

Talking about the salaries, the interlocutors RBC cause similar figures. According to the driver, working on the basis of the Krasnodar Territory, civil receive about 60 thousand. Rub. per month. RBC source familiar with the details of the military operation, indicates that the PMC soldier could count on 80 thousand. Rub. monthly, being based in Russia, and up to 500 thousand. rub. plus a premium in the area of the fighting in Syria. The salary of an employee of PMC in Syria rarely exceed 250-300 thousand. Rub. per month, he said in a conversation with RBC Defense Ministry officer. With a minimum threshold of 80 thousand. Rub. he agrees, and the average salary for the average estimates of 150 thousand. rub. plus fighting and compensation. When the maximum number of “Wagner’s group” 2.5 thousand. People with their salary in August 2015 on August 2016 could be between 2.4 billion (at 80 thousand. Rub. Per month) and 7.5 billion rubles. (With monthly payments of 250 thousand. Rub.).

The cost of the equipment of each soldier can reach up to $ 1 thousand., travel and accommodation will cost the same amount per month, said Chikin out by MSG. Thus, the cost of the presence of 2.5 thousand. People in Syria excluding salaries can reach $ 2.5 million per month, or about 170 million rubles. (At an average dollar exchange rate 67.89 rubles., According to the Central Bank data).

The highest spending on food in the Syrian campaign could be 800 rubles. per person per day, he estimated the Gypsy Alexander, director of the Center for Military Forecasting, Institute of Political and Military Analysis. From this it follows that food for 2.5 thousand. Soldiers could do in the amount of up to 2 million rubles.

Major losses on the Russian side in Syria it shall PMC, says RBC interlocutors familiar with the details of the operation. Their data on the number of victims vary. Defense Ministry employee insists that the entire Middle East killed 27 “privateers”, one of the former officers of PMC said at least a hundred deaths. “From there, one in three -” two hundredth “, every second -” three hundredth “, – says the base Molkino Officer (” cargo-200 “and” cargo-300 “- symbols when bodies transporting the dead and wounded fighters, respectively).

RBC contacted the family of one of the victims of PMC soldiers, but the family refused to communicate. Later in the social networks of his relatives and friends were a few records in which RBC correspondent action has been called a “provocation” and an attempt to tarnish the memory of the dead man. An officer from the “Group of Wagner’s” claims that the non-disclosure of the conditions of work in the PMC condition that the family would receive compensation.

Standard compensation to relatives of the deceased soldier -. To 5 million rubles, said a source familiar with the structure of PMC (the same family receive the Russian Armed Forces servicemen who were killed during the fighting). But getting them is not always easy, insists “private trader” friend of the deceased in Syria often families have to literally beat out means. Defense Ministry officer said that a relative of the deceased family will receive 1 million rubles., For wounded soldiers pay up to 500 thousand. Rub.

Taking into account of salaries, supply base, accommodation and meals annual maintenance “group Wagner” can cost between $ 5.1 billion to 10.3 billion rubles. Non-recurrent expenditure on equipment – 170 million rubles compensation to the families of those killed in the minimum loss assessment -. 27 million rubles.

Foreign PMCs and security companies did not disclose the cost structure – because of their statements can not be “pull” any amount of training costs, no fighter salaries or the cost of keeping the group. In the mid-2000s in Iraq, employees of one of the most famous military campaigns Academi (previously it was known as Blackwater) received from $ 600 to 1.075 thousand. Per day, wrote the Post Washington You . According to the calculations of publication, the general of the US Army at the same time getting a little less than $ 500 per day. Veterans of the US Marine Corps, were engaged in the preparation of the soldiers in Iraq, could earn up to $ 1 thousand., Wrote the agency The Associated Press . CNN estimated the salary of mercenaries little more modest – $ 750: so many soldiers owed at the beginning of the war in Iraq.

Later, the monthly salary of “privateers”, working in the Middle East, could grow to about £ 10 thousand. (About $ 16 thousand. At the average annual exchange rate), pointed out the Guardian . “In 2009 was a period of about three months, when we lose people every two or three days” – leads edition of the words of the British Army veteran who served at the time the contract in Afghanistan. Total losses in the Middle East working PMCs the dozens of deaths and hundreds and thousands of wounded , for example, in 2011, killed 39 men and injured 5206 people.

“The Syrian Express”

Before the Syrian soldiers get on their own, there is no centralized dispatch, explains one of the mercenaries. But loads for “Wagner Group” delivered by sea, on the “Syrian Express” ships. The name first appeared in the media in 2012: the so-called vessels supplying the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including military goods.

The composition of the “Express” can be divided into three parts: the Navy ships, ships, previously handled by civilian flights, and then became part of the Navy and chartered bulk carriers belonging to different kinds of companies around the world, says the creator of the site “Maritime Bulletin” Mikhail Voitenko. It monitors the movement of vessels using the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which allows the identification of ships and define the parameters of movement, including the exchange rate.

“Supply of military bases used with the auxiliary fleet. If the courts do not have enough, the Ministry of Defense employs conventional commercial ships, but they can not carry military cargo, “- explains the source familiar with the organization of sea freight. Among the ships which have filled up the ranks of the Navy in the spring of 2015, has a cargo ship, “Kazan-60”, which is written a agency to Reuters , part of the “Express”. In recent years, he often changed owners Thus, at the end of 2014 under the name “Georgi Agafonov” the ship was sold to “Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company” Turkish company 2E Denizcilik SAN. VE TIC.AS

Turks resold his British company Cubbert Business LP, then, as they say in the letter 2E Denizcilik the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine (a copy is available in the RBC), the owner was “located in Russia,” the company TSA. Among the companies associated with Eugene Prigogine, there is a legal entity of the same name , winner of multiple auctions for the Ministry of Defence of cleaning objects and member of one of the tenders for the base Molkino service. In October 2015 the ship entered the Black Sea Fleet (BSF), the Russian Navy under the name “Kazan-60.” The command of the Black Sea Fleet did not respond to the question of RBC how the fleet was a ship.

Just a “Syrian Express” were involved in at least 15 civilian ships: they are all in autumn 2015 followed the route Novorossiysk – Tartous, said Voitenko, referring to the AIS data. Basically vessels are registered in the company, located in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Ukraine. Several companies are located in Russia, from the data services and

Charter a civilian ship Voitenko estimates of $ 4 thousand per day, of which $ 2 thousand -.. Is its content, and $ 1.5 thousand -. The cost of fuel and fees. Based on this assessment, rent only civilian ships from the “Express” for 305 days (30 September – 31 July) could reach $ 18.3 million, or slightly more than 1.2 billion rubles.

delicate interests

At the beginning of March 2016 with the support of Assad’s army Russian aircraft launched an operation to liberate Palmyra: the city was able to fight off the 20 days of fighting. “All the disparate gang LIH, break out, destroyed Russian aircraft, which did not allow them to go in the direction of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor”, – said Head of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy.

A major role in the liberation of the historical districts of the Palmyra played PMCs soldiers, says a former officer of the group. “At first Wagner work guys, then go the Russian ground forces, then the Arabs and the camera”, – he said. According to him, Wagner’s squad is used mainly for the offensive in difficult areas. This reduces the losses among the regular forces in Syria, said the source in one of the PMCs.

March 6, 2016, with the support of the Russian Aviation army Bashar Assad launched an operation to liberate the Palmyra is in the hands of militants “Islamic state” in May 2015. City managed to beat off almost 20 days Photo: Reuters / Pixstream

“Wagner Group” is not quite correct to call a private military company, sure, another representative of this market. “Detachment is not intended to make money, this is not a business” – he says. In the case of “a group of Wagner’s” coincided interests of the state, which took force to solve delicate problems in Syria, the desire to make a group of former soldiers, carrying out tasks in the interests of the country, says RBC source close to the leadership of the FSB.

“The benefits of PMC – is the ability to use them abroad, where the use of regular armed forces is not very appropriate,” – said Deputy Director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis Alexander Khramchikhin. He repeats the statement of Vladimir Putin. “It’s (PMC -. RBC) is really a tool for the implementation of national interests without the direct participation of the state”, – said the spring of 2012, Putin, who was at that time the post of head of government.

In the same vein, in the fall of 2012 he spoke in charge of MIC Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin: “We are thinking about whether our money flow out to finance foreign private security military companies or we consider the feasibility of establishing such companies within Russia itself and take a step in this direction. ”

PMC – is also an opportunity for big business to use armed guards, who will ensure the safety of overseas, such as pipelines or refineries, says the Center for Strategic Grinyaev estimates and projections. In order to protect its facilities, including those in Iraq, LUKOIL in 2004, for example, has created ONIONS A agency and the safety of “Rosneft” provides a subsidiary of the company “RN-protection.”

“For the state, the use of private military companies can be financially beneficial only for specific tasks, but can not replace the army,” – said the expert strategic conjuncture Vladimir Neelov. Among the risks of legalizing PMCs he calls a possible outflow of personnel from among the active military – not only for financial reasons, but also for the sake of career advancement.

As for the PMCs Wagner, then because of the appearance in the media about its connection information to the database in Molkino Defense Ministry discusses the option of “private owners” of translation, says FSB officer. According to him, among the possible options – Tajikistan, Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia. This is confirmed by the source in the Defense Ministry. However, he is sure that the PMC will not disband – unit proved to be effective.

With the participation of Elizabeth Surnachevoy

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