By Matthew Roscoe •
Updated: 18 Jul 2022 • 10:47
Putin's hired Wagner Group mercenaries reportedly reinforcing Russia's FRONT-LINE forces. Image: Getmilitaryphotos/Shutterstock.com
According to a British intelligence update on Monday, July 18, Wagner Group – a network of mercenaries and a de facto private army of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – have now joined soldiers on the front line.
“Russia has used private military company, Wagner, to reinforce front-line forces and to mitigate manning shortfalls and casualties,” the British Ministry of Defence said.
“Wagner has almost certainly played a central role in recent fighting, including the capture of Popasna and Lysychansk. This fighting has inflicted heavy casualties on the group.”
It added: “Wagner are lowering recruitment standards, hiring convicts and formerly blacklisted individuals. Very limited training is made available to new recruits.
“This will highly likely impact on the future operational effectiveness of the group and will reduce its value as a prop to the regular Russian forces.
“Wagner head, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, has recently been made a Hero of the Russian Federation for Wagner’s performance in Luhansk.
“This, at a time when a number of very senior Russian military commanders are being replaced, is likely to exacerbate grievances between the military and Wagner. It is also likely to impact negatively on Russian military morale.”
As noted by the British MoD, Wagner Group and Russia’s FSB have reportedly been recruiting from prisons in Russia.
On Tuesday, July 12, videos emerged on social media reportedly capturing the moment Russia’s FSB and Wagner Group mercenaries recruited prisoners in Russia to enter the war in Ukraine.
The videos apparently showed IK-1 UFSIN prisoners in the Republic of Adygea, also known as the Adyghe Republic, a republic of Russia being recruited.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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