According to British military experts, the Russian mercenary group Wagner commands up to 50,000 fighters in Ukraine. This is according to the daily intelligence update from the Ministry of Defense in London today. Consequently, mercenaries have now become a “key component” in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
At the end of December, the previously opaque organization in Russia was also officially registered as a corporation, but only as a management consultancy, the British statement said. It is not clear to what extent this is used to manage paramilitary activities. Private security and military companies are actually illegal in Russia.
Wagner’s boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, likely financed the troupe in part with state funds that came through bloated government contracts with his other companies. “The registration is likely aimed at maximizing Prigozhin’s commercial profit and further legitimizing the increasingly prestigious organisation,” the British statement continued.