The Wagner Group and other paramilitary companies
The Wagner Group is an unofficial Russian paramilitary organisation operating in different regions of the world. It is a network of private companies and militias composed of mercenaries operating clandestinely. However, such companies are illegal under Article 359 of the Russian Criminal Code, which has been in force since 1996. (Iriarte, 2018).
Several Russian representatives pushed for their legalisation, but the Duma voted against a formal initiative to that effect. The bill was unanimously rejected by the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other security agencies. This suggests that the Russian authorities believe that private military companies are more useful operating in legal limbo than being regulated (Iriarte, 2018).
The Wagner Group
The value of paramilitary companies
The Wagner Group in Africa
Current relationship between the Kremlin and Prigozhin