Mercenaries and the Russian Army

Nadin Brzezinski
11 min readAug 28, 2022
Russian truck via Telegram

Once again, Volymedia has an important piece on Telegram. It details not just recruitment but the internal fights developing within the Federation. The curse for the Federation is that Vladimir Putin is refusing to declare war and instead has relied on quasi-mobilization. There are good reasons for that. But in the meantime, we are starting to see the kind of internal conflict that led to many a gang war in the streets of Russian cities in the 1990s.

Evgeny Prigozhin has been responsible for organizing a permanent replenishment of PMC Wagner since the beginning of the war. To do this, he also had funding through contracts with the Ministry of Defense for the supply of food and dry bunks and with the Ministry of Education, to which he also supplied food for schools and gardens. Part of the money for mobilization went through Orthodox entrepreneurs, especially through the structures of Konstantin Malofeev. Part was carried out through the Alexander Dugin International Eurasian Movement and through the Eurasian Youth Union.

Putin’s Chef has been more like a well-connected enforcer. It’s of note that Alexandr Dugin is part of this mafia. His daughter worked for Prigozhin. This is part of the Russian far right and is connected to the European and American New Right.

While it is technically illegal to serve as a mercenary in Russia, the government has carved deep exceptions for the Warner Group. Why? They have been used in Africa and Syria as deniable assets.

At the same time, a significant part of the money settled in the pockets of Prigozhin himself, Dugin and their entourage. Recruitment to PMC before the war was successful, there were enough people to solve problems in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Armenia, Belarus and the LDPR. But with the beginning of the war, problems began, because the habit of putting up to 60% of the money allocated for mobilizing people and their maintenance remained, but the people themselves needed much more than before.

What Prigozhin has done is the norm in Russia. This is why the army was not modernized either. This looting of the state is very common in authoritarian states. This context is not needed in the Volymedia story. Their readers know it.

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Nadin Brzezinski

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game. You can find me at CounterSocial, Mastodon and rarely FB