Frag Out! Magazine

Frag Out! Magazine #38

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How and why was it founded? Who is the leader, and who provides the funds? What are the objectives of its activities? What methods does it employ? And last, but not least - how much private equity can be found in this private military company, and to what extent can it be seen as just another Russian component of hybrid warfare? In the present article, the author would like to provide the readers with an in- depth look at this organization. There is no reason to use just the shallow information, available in literature and reports all around the world. We should also understand the meaning behind the founding, and the activities of such elements - for Russia. And what the existence of such elements says about the system of power in that state. Not only is the Wagner Group a tool for warfare. It is also a symptom of an illness. Is it a Private Military Company? What Private Military Companies are? It is a contemporary, civilized name for a Mercenary. In the age when democracies thrive, and the human rights struggle is real, the term "mercenary" has become less than acceptable in the West. However, there is still some demand in place for services of that nature. The professionalism of the Armed Forces, along with the technological advancements bringing up the costs of training have both led to a necessity of reforming the Western militaries. A professional soldier, as an individual, remains too valuable to be burdened with tasks of secondary relevance. And this is where PMCs - Private Military Companies, or Private Military Contractors - came in handy, The same applies to mercenaries who could take over some workload from the frontline personnel, and deal with the protection of transport operations, or act as security detail for VIPs, or infrastructure, or handle other tasks - not necessarily tied to fighting on the frontline. The western concept of the PMCs sees those entities as ones that can take over some workload from the Armed Forces, replacing them in the areas where employment of regular units is not necessary. To make the profession of the mercenary more civilized, the West designed special legal regulations applying to activities conducted by commercial organizations as such. That law is challenging when it comes to enforceability. This directly stems from the nature of activities undertaken by the PMCs. The social pressure imposed on the politicians usually requires them to keep an eye on PMCs, and to look at them through the lens of the law, while the PMCs alone are treated as shady in the West. It would be enough to look at the Hollywood/ pop culture image of PMCs created in recent years. The PMCs usually are on the dark side - always killing for profit, blackmailing, raping, engaging in conspiracies, or even overthrowing the US president. What is Wagner Group? CWhere does the Wagner Group belong, then? Briefly - nowhere. The Wagner Group tries to follow that western scheme only externally - and it is not efficient at that. Let us start with the basics: the Wagner Group troops are not contracted employees of a PMC entity since there is no legal basis available in Russia for the existence of such entities. Briefly speaking, all representatives of that organization are viewed as criminals in the eyes of Russian law. The Wagner Group has its training camp in Molkin, in southern Russia, also located close to several important facilities managed by the Russian Ministry of Defence. The Group uses a major quantity of heavy equipment, including helicopters, and armored vehicles. Every contractor in the group, following Article 359 of the Russian Penal Code, may be sentenced to 8 years in prison at any given time. Those organizing the activities of PMC entities may be facing up to 15 years in prison. The Wagner Group, then, cannot be a PMC. Given the scale of its activities, the overt nature of the Group's existence in Russia, and the illegal nature of those operations, the Group's operations need to be completely consensual within the Russian power structure and tied to a higher level of decision-making. The Wagner Group must work with the authorization of the Russian authorities WAGNER GROUP is known all around, with numerous mentions in the media, pointing to Ukraine, the Middle East, and Africa. But what that organization really is? ANALYSIS

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