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Hummingbird
Beitrag 13. Dec 2017, 01:53 | Beitrag #331
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ZITAT
Thousands of Russian private contractors fighting in Syria

MOSCOW (AP) — Before he was killed by a sniper in Syria at age 23, Ivan Slyshkin wrote a poignant message on social media to his fiancee: “We will see each other soon — and I will hold you as tight as I possibly can.”

But Slyshkin’s name won’t be found among the Russian Defense Ministry’s official casualties in the fight against Islamic State extremists.

That’s because the young man who left his hometown of Ozyorsk in the Ural mountains was one of thousands of Russians deployed to Syria by a shadowy, private military contractor known as Wagner, which the government doesn’t talk about.

Slyshkin’s gravestone depicts him holding a machine gun, according to a local news website Znak.com that sent a reporter to his March 2 funeral in Ozyorsk, where friends said he joined Wagner to earn money to pay for his wedding.

“He was in Wagner’s group,” his friend Andrei Zotov told The Associated Press, adding that Slyshkin was killed as the security forces were advancing on the Al-Shayer oil field north of Palmyra.

“There are many good guys there. He volunteered to join the company,” Zotov said. “Like many Russian fighters, he wanted to solve his money issues.”

The St. Petersburg-based website Fontanka reported that about 3,000 Russians under contract to the Wagner group have fought in Syria since 2015, months before Russia’s two-year military campaign helped to turn the tide of the civil war in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a longtime Moscow ally.

When Putin went to a Russian air base in Syria on Monday and told Russian troops that “you are coming back home with victory,” he did not mention the private contractors. Russian troops are expected to remain in Syria for years while the contractors are likely to stay to guard lucrative oil and gas fields under a contract between the Syrian government and another Russian company allegedly linked to a businessman known as “Putin’s chef” for his close ties to the Kremlin.

Proxy fighters like Slyshkin have played a key role in Syria. In addition to augmenting troops officially sent by Moscow, their secret deployment has helped keep the official Russian death toll low as Putin seeks re-election next year.

The Russian Defense Ministry has said 41 of its troops have died in Syria. But according to Fontanka, another 73 private contractors have been killed there.

The Kremlin and the Defense Ministry have stonewalled questions about Russians fighting in Syria in a private capacity. Private contractors have been used by countries like the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan for years; Russian law forbids the hiring of mercenaries or working as one.

But Russia has used such proxies before — in the conflict to help pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014. One Russian commander boasted of working alongside Russian troops who said they were “on vacation” while fighting in Ukraine.

The Defense Ministry has refused to say how many of its troops are in Syria, although one estimate based on absentee ballots cast in the Russian parliamentary election last year indicated 4,300 personnel were deployed there. That number probably rose this year because Moscow sent Russian military police to patrol “de-escalation zones.”

“The Russian people are not very enthused by the idea of an empire that would involve their boys coming home in body bags. There’s clearly a lack enthusiasm for this conflict,” said Mark Galeotti, senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague.

“By having this military company Wagner, they can have a force they can actually deploy ... but when people die, it doesn’t have to be announced,” Galeotti said.

Fontanka, which is respected for its independent reporting, has obtained what it described as Wagner’s spreadsheets and recruitment forms that indicate thousands of Russians have fought in Syria. Of about 3,000 Wagner employees deployed to Syria over the years, the single largest contingent at a given time has been about 1,500, said Denis Korotkov, a reporter for Fontanka.

Since 2015, at least 73 of them have died, he said.

Another investigative group, Conflict Intelligence Team, or CIT, put the number of private contractor deaths at 101. Both outlets say those are conservative estimates.

“The most important proof is people, dead and alive, who have said they are mercenaries and their relatives say there are mercenaries,” said CIT founder Ruslan Leviev. “How would hundreds of people all over the country collude and come up with the same story?”

Activists with CIT made a name for the group by combing social media and other records for Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and are doing the same for Syria.

Both Fontanka and CIT published photos from what they called a Wagner training base in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia. Some of the facilities look identical to those seen in official Defense Ministry photos of a military base in Molkino, in the same area.

Agreements signed with the security companies have kept the private contractors and members of their families from speaking to the media about their activities. Survivors receive generous compensation for keeping silent, and most attempts by AP to contact relatives and friends of those killed have been unsuccessful.

Media in southern Russia reported the death of Alexander Karchenkov in Syria in November 2016. The BelPressa website showed the mayor of his hometown of Stary Oskol giving a medal to Karchenkov’s tearful widow, Marina, and mother.

Marina Karchenkova said her husband went to Syria as a contract soldier because he “had children to raise.”

In a handwritten form dated December 2015, Karchenkov said he was unemployed, serving in the Soviet army in 1989-1991 and as a volunteer in Kosovo in 1998-2000.

In October, the Islamic State group released video of two Russian captives it said had been fighting in Syria, and one of them identified himself as Roman Zabolotny and said the other was Grigory Tsurkanu. The Defense Ministry denied they were Russian servicemen, and media reports said they were working for Wagner. Their fate at the hands of the extremists is unknown.

The Wagner group was founded by retired Lt. Col. Dmitry Utkin, who came under U.S. sanctions in June after the Treasury Department said the company had recruited former soldiers to join the separatists fighting in Ukraine. Utkin was photographed a year ago at a Kremlin banquet thrown by Putin to honor military veterans.

Also under U.S. sanctions is Yevgeny Prigozhin, the St. Petersburg entrepreneur dubbed “Putin’s chef” by Russian media because of his restaurants and catering businesses that once hosted the Kremlin leader’s dinners with foreign dignitaries. In the more than 10 years since establishing a relationship with Putin, his business expanded to other services for the military.

Earlier this year, an anti-corruption foundation run by opposition leader Alexei Navalny detailed how Prigozhin’s firms have come to dominate Defense Ministry contracts. The U.S. State Department put Prigozhin on its sanctions list in 2016 related to the Ukrainian conflict, citing his “extensive business dealings” with the Defense Ministry.

Among the firms linked to Prigozhin is Evro Polis, a Moscow-registered company that Fontanka reported has become a front for Wagner’s operations in Syria.

In 2016, Evro Polis listed the sale of food products as its core activities, according to the Spark Interfax database. But this year, it listed mining, oil and gas production, and opened an office in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

The AP obtained a copy of a 47-page contract between Evro Polis and Syria’s state-owned General Petroleum Corp., which said the Russian company would receive 25 percent of the proceeds from oil and gas production at fields its contractors capture and secure from Islamic State militants. While the five-year contract could not be authenticated, Fontanka reported the same deal in June.

“The link between Evro Polis and Prigozhin is significant and is not in doubt,” said Fontanka’s Korotkov. “We believe that this firm is just a cover for the private company Wagner, and it could be an attempt to legalize this group, possibly for a commercial use later on.”

Both Evro Polis and Prigozhin’s Concorde Management and Consulting were unavailable for comment, and the Defense Ministry did not reply to AP’s request for comment.

An AP reporter who went to Evro Polis’ Damascus office in November found it closed, with no sign on the door.

Syria’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources declined comment when asked about the Evro Polis deal. Asked about the contract, the Russian Energy Ministry told Fontanka it cannot divulge “commercial secrets,” and declined comment to the AP.

As the Russian campaign in Syria draws to a close, the private contractors will probably stay, analysts say.

Wagner is “is likely to cement its footing because we saw that there were not only military goals to pursue ... but there is a commercial motive,” Leviev said. “Someone needs to guard the oil fields.”

___

Associated Press writer Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed.

___

Online: Evro Polis’ contract (in Russian):

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/432...isContract.html
https://apnews.com/7f9e63cb14a54dfa9148b6430d89e873
 
Hummingbird
Beitrag 14. Feb 2018, 13:46 | Beitrag #332
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SkyNews : Russia's Secret Soldiers Fighting In Syria

 
Nite
Beitrag 8. Apr 2018, 22:29 | Beitrag #333
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Generalmajor d.R.
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ZITAT
WORLD NEWSAPRIL 6, 2018 / 12:21 PM / A DAY AGO

Special Report: How a secret Russian airlift helps Syria's Assad

MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - In a corner of the departures area at Rostov airport in southern Russia, a group of about 130 men, many of them carrying overstuffed military-style rucksacks, lined up at four check-in desks beneath screens that showed no flight number or destination.

When a Reuters reporter asked the men about their destination, one said: “We signed a piece of paper – we’re not allowed to say anything. Any minute the boss will come and we’ll get into trouble.

“You too,” he warned.

The chartered Airbus A320 waiting on the tarmac for them had just flown in from the Syrian capital, Damascus, disgorging about 30 men with tanned faces into the largely deserted arrivals area. Most were in camouflage gear and khaki desert boots. Some were toting bags from the Damascus airport duty-free.

The men were private Russian military contractors, the latest human cargo in a secretive airlift using civilian planes to ferry military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his six-year fight against rebels, a Reuters investigation of the logistical network behind Assad’s forces has uncovered.

[...]

Reuters


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Ceterum censeo asseculas Dais esse necandam.

#flapjackmafia #GuaranáAntarctica #arrr #PyramidHoneyTruther
 
Hummingbird
Beitrag 14. Apr 2018, 14:45 | Beitrag #334
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ZITAT
Pentagon acknowledges US contractor presence in Syria for first time

Jack Detsch April 13, 2018

The US military is using more than 5,500 contractors in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, the Pentagon revealed in a quarterly report this week that acknowledges the use of contractors in the Syrian war zone for the first time.

The latest figures from US Central Command indicate that 5,508 US and foreign contractors are working alongside US troops in the two combat zones. That’s an increase of 581, or 12%, over January’s numbers, which did not include Syria. About half of the contractors are US citizens, while the rest are local or third-country hires.

The disclosure comes as President Donald Trump has signaled his desire to pull US troops out of Syria “very soon” after the end of the counter-IS mission.

[...]

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/...l#ixzz5CecVWMtd
 
Hummingbird
Beitrag 8. May 2018, 07:42 | Beitrag #335
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ZITAT
To be a UAE general is a step up for Toumajan, who left the US Army as a lieutenant colonel and once had a side gig running a women’s bust–enhancement business in Tennessee called Breast Wishes.

[...]
https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/stephen...1Y9Y#.giOpbb5P5

biggrin.gif
 
Hummingbird
Beitrag 2. Aug 2018, 17:35 | Beitrag #336
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ZITAT
In der Zentralafrikanischen Republik sind drei Moskauer Journalisten getötet worden. Sie hatten über die Aktivitäten einer russischen Söldnertruppe in dem Bürgerkriegsland recherchiert.

[...]

Die drei Journalisten Orhan Dschemal, Alexander Rastorgujew und Kirill Radtschenko waren bekannt für ihre investigativen Recherchen. Oft ging es um Themen, die der russischen Regierung unbequem waren. Finanziert wurde ihre aktuelle Recherche-Reise von dem im Ausland lebenden Kreml-Kritiker Michail Chodorkowski.

Es ging um eine heikle Sache: den geheimen Einsatz von russischen Söldnern in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik. Kämpfer der so genannten "Wagner"-Gruppe koordinieren in dem Bürgerkriegsland vielen Indizien zufolge russische Waffenlieferungen und bilden dort örtliche Militärs aus.

[...]
https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/russische...afrika-101.html
 
Freestyler
Beitrag 19. Nov 2019, 11:30 | Beitrag #337
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Hochinteressanter Artikel zum Einsatz von u.a. der Wagner Group in Mozambique:

ZITAT
In Push for Africa, Russia's Wagner Mercenaries Are 'Out of Their Depth' in Mozambique
The secretive Kremlin-linked group is growing in scope and ambition, winning contracts normally reserved for local security firms. Many believe it is not up to the job.

When John Gartner, a former Rhodesian soldier who now heads the military security company OAM, was approached by a Mozambican official to help fight the Islamist insurgency in the country’s north, he thought he was about to win a lucrative contract. “We presented them with a first-class proposal in early August. We have so much experience in operating in Mozambique and know the tough environment very well. Trust me, we would have done an excellent job,” he told The Moscow Times. Dolf Dorfling, an ex-colonel in the South African army and founder of the Black Hawk private military contractor, likewise submitted a “strong” proposal for a country he knows “like the palm of his hand.”

They both lost out to a new player in town — the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group, believed to be owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin often referred to as “Putin’s Chef” because of his catering business. While the veteran mercenaries admitted they couldn’t match Wagner’s low costs and high-level political connections, they cast doubt on the Russian company’s ability to operate in Mozambique because they say it knows neither the terrain nor the politics. “Look, it's money and politics, it was clear we couldn’t compete with Wagner,” said Gartner, “But now they are in trouble there, they are out of their depth.”

In September, about 200 Russian Wagner mercenaries arrived in Mozambique’s capital Maputo, news first reported by The Times of London and independently confirmed by The Moscow Times. Since arriving, they have been engaged in a fierce fight with an Islamic State-linked insurgency in the country’s gas-rich, Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado region, which has claimed over 200 deaths since 2017.

Black Hawk and OAM are two of the many private military contractors operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their rise has been linked to the end of apartheid in South Africa, which released many skilled soldiers eager to be paid to help African governments struggling to curtail internal rebellions. Many are now aged between 55 and 65, but say they have the knowledge and experience to keep working in Africa. Gartner said he had proposed to bring around 50 highly qualified experts to Mozambique at a cost of between $15,000 and $25,000 per person per month.

While no public information is available on how much Wagner pays its mercenaries, Yevgeny Shabayev, a former Russian military officer and self-appointed spokesman for the group, told The Moscow Times that on average, Wagner soldiers receive between 120,000 and 200,000 rubles per month ($1,800 - $3,100). Perhaps more important, the military contractors said, is the political backing Wagner has attracted compared to traditional mercenary groups. Prigozhin is emerging as a key figure in Russia’s increasingly expansive foreign policy in Africa, and Wagner troops have been reported operating in Sudan, the Central African Republic and Libya.

Last week, The New York Times reported that following a meeting in Moscow between Putin, Prigozhin and Madagascar’s then-president Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Russian operatives were sent to the country with the aim of influencing the local elections. Their security was reportedly provided by mercenaries from Wagner.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security affairs, says that Wagner’s unique blend of proximity to the Kremlin and low costs make it attractive. “They are cheap and come as part of a package of regime-support services, including political technologies.” Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi flew to Russia and met Putin at the end of August — two months before the country’s October presidential elections — where he signed a number of energy and security agreements.

While there is no evidence to suggest Russia sent operatives to influence the Mozambican elections, companies linked to Prigozhin have been accused of propping up Nyusi and his party. In the run-up to the elections, a think tank called Afric conducted a poll that predicted victory for Nyusi. As the publication of election polls is illegal during the campaign period in Mozambique, its founder Jose Matemulane published it on the International Anticrisis Center website, a Russian NGO linked to Prigozhin. The poll ended up being widely shared across social media in Mozambique. Afric’s page was eventually suspended by Facebook at the end of October after Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said the entity was associated with Prigozhin and had attempted to interfere in the domestic politics of African countries.

The U.S.-based Stanford Internet Observatory research center also identified four separate Prigozhin-linked Facebook pages created on Sept. 23, 2019, which frequently posted identical content. They lauded the government’s success in fighting the Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado and criticized the main opposition party Renamo.

In over their heads
A few weeks after Wagner’s arrival in September, reports started coming out of Mozambique that the group’s mercenaries were being ambushed, killed and beheaded in Cabo Delgado. Two Mozambique army sources told The Moscow Times in October that at least seven Russians had been killed by the insurgency that month. Over a dozen independent analysts, mercenaries and security experts working in the region have since told The Moscow Times that Wagner is struggling.

“You have to realize this is one of the toughest environments in the world,” said Al Venter, a veteran South Africa journalist who has written extensively about mercenaries on the continent. “The consensus is that Wagner has almost no experience of the kind of primitive bush warfare being waged in there. They are going to come very badly unstuck,” he added.

Cabo Delgado is one of the poorest and least developed areas in the region. It has limited basic infrastructure, including a lack of roads and hospitals, that makes it an environment that is “ideal” for ambushes, according to a Mozambican intelligence specialist based in the area who wished to remain anonymous. “The undergrowth is so thick there that all the high-tech equipment Wagner brought ceases to be effective. The Russians arrived with drones, but they can’t actually use them,” the specialist said.

The environment is not the only problem Wagner faces. Two sources in the Mozambique military, also speaking under condition of anonymity, described growing tensions between Wagner and the Mozambique Defense Armed Forces (FADM) after a number of failed military operations. “We have almost stopped patrolling together,” one of the two soldiers said.

Jasmine Opperman, a terrorism expert based in South Africa, believes “a perfect storm” has formed around Wagner in Mozambique. “The Russians don’t understand the local culture, don’t trust the soldiers and have to fight in horrible conditions against an enemy that is gaining more and more momentum. They are in over their heads.”

Growing pains
Wagner’s problems in Mozambique raise bigger questions about the company’s rapid growth, according to Galeotti. “They have clearly had to expand since their early Syrian days and also have to make a profit. This means being less picky with recruits. They are increasingly operating in theaters where they don’t have much expertise.”

Shabayev, who says he is in regular contact with Wagner soldiers, echoed these sentiments. He expects the death toll for Wagner soldiers to rise across the world in coming years, but said it will be hard to glean concrete information given Wagner’s secrecy. He said the first bodies of Wagner soldiers who died in Mozambique have already arrived in Vladimir, a region outside Moscow, where families have been given hefty compensation in return for silence. The Moscow Times was unable to independently confirm this.

For now, Gartner and Dorfling are on standby, monitoring developments in Mozambique closely. “Once Mozambique realizes that Wagner won’t be able to do the job alone, we will be back in demand,” said Dorfling. Sources told them that Wagner has started to look around for local military expertise, although they haven’t heard anything yet. “If you could let Wagner know we are available to help, that would be great. We would like to come in and do what we do best,” said Gartner, before hanging up.

The Moscow Times


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ZITAT(Kreuz As)
Entweder eine Frau fingern oder schiessen gehen. Dann geht das zucken im Zeigefinger auch wieder weg.
 
SailorGN
Beitrag 19. Nov 2019, 20:35 | Beitrag #338
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Klingt leicht wie "Blackwater auf russisch". Die haben sich im Irak ja auch überhoben...


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Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres - Voltaire
Im Gegensatz zum Hirn meldet sich der Magen, wenn er leer ist.
 
Almeran
Beitrag 20. Nov 2019, 11:30 | Beitrag #339
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Generalmajor d.R.
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Und auch mit den gleichen Problemen: Irgendwann einfach jeden angeheuert, der wollte, weil die Aufträge sonst nicht zu stemmen waren.


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Liberalmeran.

Der Grad unserer Erregung wächst in umgekehrtem Verhältnis zu unserer Kenntnis der Tatsachen - je weniger wir wissen, desto aufgeregter werden wir.
- Bertrand Russell, Eroberung des Glücks
 
Slavomir
Beitrag 20. Nov 2019, 21:11 | Beitrag #340
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ZITAT(SailorGN @ 19. Nov 2019, 20:35) *
Klingt leicht wie "Blackwater auf russisch". Die haben sich im Irak ja auch überhoben...

Die "Regionale Supermacht" kritisiert den "bösen Westen" wo es geht,nutzt aber dieselben Methoden, na ja, fast die selben. Um die anständige Methoden machen die Russen gerade einen großen Bogen.
 
Nite
Beitrag 21. Nov 2019, 00:34 | Beitrag #341
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Generalmajor d.R.
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Projektion (den anderen für das was man selber tut kritisieren) ist neben lügen um jeden Preis derzeit eine Grundlage der russischen Politik.


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Ceterum censeo asseculas Dais esse necandam.

#flapjackmafia #GuaranáAntarctica #arrr #PyramidHoneyTruther
 
Kameratt
Beitrag 21. Nov 2019, 12:44 | Beitrag #342
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ZITAT
Russian Mercenaries Linked to Gruesome Syrian Torture and Beheading Video

This article contains graphic content which may be disturbing to some readers.

Four Russian-speaking men who were filmed beheading, dismembering and setting fire to a Syrian man in 2017 are believed to be private mercenaries for the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group, the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Wednesday.
[...]


https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/11/21/r...ng-video-a68261
 
Crazy Butcher
Beitrag 7. Dec 2019, 15:49 | Beitrag #343
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Der Abschuss einer US-Drohne über Lybien wird russischen Söldnern zugeschrieben: T-Online


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"In the future, if you don't want the shit missions, don't be so good at doing them."
- General Downer in 'Over There'
 
 
 

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