Russia’s Wagner Group and the Ukraine War

Russia’s Wagner Group purports to be a “private security organization” – what you and I might otherwise call mercenaries. Plenty of groups like this exist around the world, but with an emphasis on private. 

The Wagner Group has many ties to Russian military intelligence (still known by its former acronym GRU) and tends to pop up in places where Russian interests are best served by individuals with some degree of plausible deniability of links to Russian national leadership. We’ve seen them most notably in Ukraine’s Donbas region, Syria and Libya, but they’ve been active everywhere from Venezuela to the Central African Republic to Mozambique.


The Wagner Group affords Vladimir Putin the flexibility to pursue Russian interests without attracting too much pushback, both from the international community and from within the Russian state. As a result, Russia’s been able to play in a wide range of theaters far from the immediate realm of Russia’s borders. 

At least, they used to. With the recalling and redeployment of Wagner Group forces back to the Ukrainian theater, we’re seeing a reduction of resources the Russian state has to pursue multiple national policy objectives. It’s also another sign that Russia massively miscalculated how quickly they could engineer a total capitulation of the Ukrainian state and its people.

Russia’s invasion of the Republic was Georgia was in 2008, not in 2004 as stated in the video below. We regret the error.

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we asked our readers who were so inclined and able to consider donating toward a cause we thought was important: Feeding America.

While we still believe strongly in their mission, with recent events in Ukraine we are asking our subscribers to consider supporting a charity focused on relief efforts there. There are many good ones to choose from, but one in particular we are supporting is the Afya Foundation.

They collect money and health supplies for underserved communities in the world, and have begun delivering non-combat support to refugees and population centers in Ukraine. We hope that those who can, join us.

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