Go back three months and the names of Yevgeny Prigozhin and Wagner remained on everyone’s lips. But since the plane crash that killed the paramilitary group’s leader, things have been relatively quiet around the Wagner group.
If we are to believe, chief researcher at the Norwegian Defense Research Institute, Tor Bokvoll, there is a good reason for this.
– I don’t think Wagner exists in the sense it did before. The organization is divided and divided into several units, so they tend to call themselves Wagner, because it is a well-known brand, he told Netavicin.
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Recently, there have been very different reports about the Wagner group. Telegraph He wrote ten days ago that the group had become part of the Russian National Guard. Just days later, the famous research center reported Institute for the study of war (ISW) that the Russian authorities reject this and only recruit certain soldiers with a past in Wagner. Bockvall believes a new player has taken over large parts of the business.
– Redut appears to be one of several replacements to take over the Wagner Group.
– Do they have Prigozhin then?
– No, they didn’t, because it wasn’t a good idea. They brought in Konstantin Mirzayants from the Russian special forces. After all, Wagner was a commercial enterprise, and Ridout seemed to be merely mercenaries under the command of the Ministry of Defense.
The Wagner Group was allowed to recruit from Russian prisons, and participated in very bloody battles around the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. Prigozhin constantly expressed frustration with the equipment assigned to them and criticized the Russian defense leadership. It all culminated in Wagner’s rebellion. Bockvaul believes the Russians will be careful not to give groups like Redot the same influence.
– The effect may not be huge. Wagner was given a mission to capture Bachmut. Now they don’t want to repeat the mistake they made with Wagner and give them a lot of independence. We have learned that it is dangerous to give such an organization such great responsibility.
Before the war in Ukraine, Russia’s private military groups were far removed from the Russian state. The Kremlin has denied any association with groups such as Wagner.
– The first time they admitted to having a relationship with Wagner was when they were engaged in Mali in 2021. Even then, they were saying that private military companies are illegal in Russia, so there are none for that reason, says Bokvoll. Add:
– Putin talks about the phenomenon of volunteer administrations. It portrays it in a positive light and as an expression of popular support for the war.
So why did Putin and his cronies do this? Have you stopped denying any connection to paramilitary groups?
– It was a matter of not completely destroying the relationship with the West, but now it is completely destroyed anyway. This does not mean that there will be complete transparency, but also that there will be no blue-sky denial.
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