Book about Wagner PMC

Russia’s Wagner PMC (Wagner Group):
Establishment, purpose, profile and historic relevance worldwide

> Autors: Besenyö, Janos – Türke, András István – Szénási, Endre 
> Publisher: Helion
> EUVI/ CERPESC Contribution: Wagner PMC in Africa
> COMING SOON (Spring 2024)

The Wagner Group is symbolic of Russia’s deployment of private military companies (PMCs) to exercise influence in Africa, the Middle East and Europe since the mid-2010s. Nominally an independent commercial enterprise, but actually operating on behalf of the Russian government, and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and its Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and the Federal Security Service (FSB), it has been deployed to perform a very wide range of military and paramilitary tasks, provide security, and collect intelligence. 

Through much of its existence, the activity of the Wagner Group appears to have been clandestine and poorly recorded. In practice, the operating principles of this PMC have been very similar to those of numerous similar enterprises from the West.

Since its failed coup attempt in the summer of 2023, the fate of the Wagner Group appears to be sealed. Indeed, presently, it is highly unlikely that a Russian PMC might ever again have the same power and influence that Wagner once wielded. However, this does not mean that such all such enterprises have been completely disbanded: only that the Wagner Group has not (yet) been replaced by some other enterprise – whether Russian or foreign. In fact, we are witnessing a recurrent trend that is likely to become even more characteristic for conflicts in the coming decades as almost everybody who can afford to pay for the services of a PMC is hiring them. Indeed, numerous governments in control of relatively weak or disloyal armed forces have concluded that the deployment of a PMC holds significant advantages.

This two-part works examines the predecessors to the Wagner Group, and the establishment of the latter organisation by Yevgeny Prigozhin, its activities in a number of conflicts around the world, and its armed mutiny against the top leadership of the Russian Federation. It is thoroughly illustrated with authentic photographs and custom commissioned colour illustrations and maps.


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