Prigozhin’s Wagner Far From Only Russian PMC Fighting in Ukraine – OpEd


The Wagner PMC gets a lot of media attention because of the high profile of its commander, but there are other Russian PMCs fighting in Ukraine that deserve to be better known not only because of the role they are playing in Putin’s war but also because of the possibility that they may play other roles elsewhere and even in Russia itself.

The IdelReal portal has investigated four of these groups – Redut, BARS, Don, and the Union of Volunteers of the Donbass – and the men they have been recruiting and provides a window on the activities groups that remain even more shadowy than Wagner was until recently (

The four share certain common features among themselves and with Wagner. Most have leaders who are close friends of Putin or friends of his friends. They have ties with the GRU and FSB. And they are irregular forces that can be used in deniable ways. IdelReal provides details that will be of interest to experts.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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