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Russian Mercenary Group Launches All-Out Attack


Jun 24, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to punish “traitors” from the Wagner mercenary group, after its leader swore he would topple Moscow’s military leadership.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, 62, released a series of messages from late Friday into Saturday, claiming that he and his mercenary troops had entered the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and taken control of its military sites.

Prigozhin has been locked in a power struggle with the military top brass, blaming them for his troops’ deaths in eastern Ukraine.

He has repeatedly accused them of failing to equip his private army adequately, of holding up progress with bureaucracy, while claiming victories won by Wagner as their own.

On Friday, Prigozhin’s anger appeared to boil over, as he accused Moscow’s military leadership of ordering strikes on Wagner’s camps and killing a large number of forces. The Wagner Group, a Russian PMC, has gained notoriety in recent years for its involvement in conflicts around the world. This private military force, reportedly linked to Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been active in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and various African nations. The group’s operations have raised concerns due to its alleged close ties to the Russian government, blurring the line between state and non-state actors.

The growing presence and actions of private military contractors like the Wagner Group pose several challenges to global security:

  1. Lack of accountability: Private military contractors operate outside the jurisdiction of traditional international law, raising concerns about their accountability for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.
  2. Proxy warfare: By employing PMCs, states can engage in conflicts without overtly committing their own forces. This approach provides a level of deniability, blurring the lines of responsibility and making it difficult to assign blame for any potential misconduct.
  3. Erosion of state sovereignty: The increasing influence and involvement of PMCs can undermine the authority and sovereignty of nation-states, as these private entities operate with relative autonomy and pursue their interests, often conflicting with national policies.
  4. Destabilization of conflict zones: The actions of well-funded and heavily armed PMCs can prolong conflicts and exacerbate tensions in already volatile regions. The Wagner Group’s attack serves as a reminder that unchecked private military actors can worsen existing conflicts and hinder efforts towards peace and stability.

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