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il y a 2 mois 5 jours #3046 par AsrpikOwedy
AsrpikOwedy a créé le sujet : BER NEWS - news articles in english
For a private army without an official name, and in a country where its activity is illegal, we already seem to know a lot about Russia‘s Wagner.

We apparently know where their soldiers are trained (a newly built compound in Krasnodar Krai, near Ukraine); how much they earn (up to 200,000 roubles, seven times the Russian average); where they fought (a list that includes Ukraine); how many of them are there (1,500-2,000); and when and where they died. We have learned all this from investigations using social media and other open sources – sources that the Kremlin seems unable to block.

Last week’s clashes in the deserts of eastern Syria, where the US-led coalition said it had fought off an attack by “pro-regime” forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, brought those sources back into focus. In the absence of official recognition, evidence from social media – mostly from social media network Vkontakte – provided the most solid documentation of Russian losses to US-backed Kurdish forces, which may now number the high dozens. A number of those said to be involved in those clashes are said to be affiliated to Wagner, with the Kremlin one of President Assad’s staunch allies.

In recent years, the Kremlin has gone to great lengths to hide its military losses. In 2015, just before the beginning of the Syrian operation, President Putin made military deaths a state secret – whether in war or in “peacetime”. By that time, the Kremlin narrative denying boots on the ground in eastern Ukraine as part of the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels had been seriously undermined by growing reports of dead Russian soldiers.

The use of private military groups such as Wagner continues that logic. Russia, of course, is not the only country to use private armies to keep its military deaths off the public balance sheet. But while the use of private armies by Western governments is common knowledge, in Russia membership is officially punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment. And the Kremlin does not look like it is about to authorise a change in law.

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