Russia: Mercenary forces for Syria

Issue 1013 - 23 Apr 2016 | 1 minute read

The activities of Russian mercenaries in Syria and other warzones are gaining new attention. The Fontanka website reported that a group of elite troops known as ‘OSM’, led by former Spetsnaz officers and recruited by the ChVK Vagnera (named after its commander, codename Wagner) private military company (PMC), were acting with official backing. Fontanka claimed there is evidence that ChVK Vagnera exists from documents signed by President Vladimir Putin himself. The ability of Russian and Serbian ‘Slavonic Corps’ mercenaries (Hong Kong-registered PMC Slavonic Corps Ltd was reported operating in Syria in 2013) to slip in and out of Russia to fight in Ukraine and other conflict zones has been noted over several years.

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