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Russia's Wagner Group emerges into a political role

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


The formerly reticent Prigozhin has become increasingly brazen about claiming victories for his mercenary force and responsibility for hacking US election campaigns. He has claimed that Wagner mercenaries, not regular troops, are doing the toughest fighting and has publicly clashed with defence officials.


  • Putin's latest speech offers no forward plan for the military campaign and no exit route.
  • The existence of Wagner and other PMCs destroys the Russian state's centuries-long monopoly on violence.
  • The use of convicted criminals as disposable soldiers erodes both penal practice and the rules of war.

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