Kyiv – Russia’s Rosgvardiya National Guard, led by Putin’s former bodyguard, is hiring veterans of the Wagner Group to bolster troops in Ukraine and Chechnya. The Kremlin is thus trying to prevent unpopular mobilization and use the fighting potential of the group, writes The New York Times.
The Wagnerites, a paramilitary organization that led the Russian offensive near the southeastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, mutinied in June on the orders of commander Yevgeny Prigozhin and made an unsuccessful march on Moscow. Prigozhin and his closest officers subsequently took refuge in exile in Belarus, but died in August in a plane crash that Western secret services classified as an assassination attempt.
Now the Russian army wants to recruit the remaining soldiers from this group into its ranks. “Wagner’s group is officially becoming a Rosgvardija unit,” read the recruitment text the former fighter received last week. “The whole structure, work methods and commanders remain the same.”
The report, which was also accessed by The New York Times, could not be independently verified. However, similar offers of new military contracts also reached other Wagners, including four former Russian prisoners, via telephone communication. Three other former fighters said they were specifically invited to join Russia’s militarized Rosgvardija national guard.
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The information was also confirmed by one of the employees of the National Guard of the Russian Federation, who, however, wished to remain anonymous. According to him, Rosgvardija is creating a special brigade to receive former prisoners who fought for Wagner. National Forces Commander Viktor Zolotov, who previously served as Putin’s bodyguard, is seen as the man who stands to gain the most from Pirgozhin’s downfall. After the Wagnerian revolt, his National Guard was to receive heavy weapons, similar to those previously supplied to Prigozhin’s group. In addition, some analysts see the strengthening of Rosgvardija as an attempt to support factions loyal to the Kremlin, especially in response to the fact that the Wagnerian rebellion in June was not significantly resisted by the Russian army.
Author: vadu, Photo: Shutterstock
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