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Putin’s Mercenaries Use Syria as a Training Ground and Revenue Stream

Putin’s Mercenaries Use Syria as a Training Ground and Revenue Stream

The consistently excellent Lobelog describes how Vladimir Putin is using the the Russian private military company, Wagner, for deniable and lucrative military operations in the Middle East and Africa. The story, by Nicolai Due-Gundersen does not mention the CEO of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, but does demonstrate that Wagner is a tool of Putin’s statecraft. Prigozhin...

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What Mueller Didn’t Say About ‘Putin’s Prince’ and His Troll Factory

What Mueller Didn’t Say About ‘Putin’s Prince’ and His Troll Factory

(This article was first published on Just Security) The narrow testimony and contentious questioning of Robert Mueller has raised questions on the political left as well as the right about one of his most significant findings related to Russia’s secret efforts to influence the 2016 election on behalf of President Donald Trump: the social media...

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More on ‘Putin’s Chef’ and His Private Army Called Wagner

More on ‘Putin’s Chef’ and His Private Army Called Wagner

National Security Correspondent for NPR Greg Myre’s article analyzes the background of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the man dubbed “Putin’s Chef,” and his role in the Russian government. “He epitomizes a real renaissance man in contemporary Russia, which is to say that he runs some very high-end restaurants,” said Angela Stent, the head of Russian Studies at Georgetown...

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Wagner, the Private Russian Security Force, Reportedly in Venezuela

Wagner, the Private Russian Security Force, Reportedly in Venezuela

I blogged about Wagner, the Russian private military contractor, as an instrument of President Vladmir Putin. PMCs, like Wagner, are a way that government’s secretly project power without taking responsibility. Just as the Bush administration used Blackwater in Iraq, Putin uses Wagner in Syria and now, according to The Guardian, Venezuela. “The order came down...

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Inside ‘Wagner,’ the Russian Version of Blackwater

Inside ‘Wagner,’ the Russian Version of Blackwater

You’ve heard of Blackwater, the private military company, that the Bush administration deployed in Iraq . Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious, since renamed firm, has tried to persuade President Trump to privatize the war in Afghanistan by hiring his new PMC to wage war on the Taliban. The same phenomenon can be seen...