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The Wagner group and how they operate

The Wagner Group and other paramilitary companies

July 2023

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).


  1. The Wagner Group

  2. The value of paramilitary companies

  3. The Wagner Group in Africa

  4. Current relationship between the Kremlin and Prigozhin

(Read more)


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