Redut PMC Step Up To Fill Wagner's Gap in Ukraine Offensive
Gas Empire Guards Join Russian-Ukraine Fight
In an update released on Monday, UK defense intelligence revealed that Russian private military company Redut is actively recruiting mercenaries, including former fighters from the notorious Wagner Group.
The memo also stated that Redut's activities are likely financed and supervised by Russia's military intelligence, the GRU. It further disclosed that Redut has been engaged in combat in several regions of Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin's full-scale invasion began in February 2022.
According to the British update, the Russian Ministry of Defense has been recruiting through "volunteer" units, which has allowed Russia to avoid unpopular mobilization efforts. This practice has been instrumental in ensuring that Russia's military operations are supported without resorting to widespread conscription.
Redut, established in 2008 by Gennady Timchenko, a Putin-linked oligarch and former KGB agent, was initially intended to safeguard Timchenko's gas empire.
However, evidence submitted by a former senior Russian army officer and Wagner operative to the UK House of Commons foreign affairs committee suggests that Redut has expanded its operations and is now actively recruiting mercenaries.
The British intelligence report estimates that Redut has a personnel count of over 7,000. This number indicates the group's significant growth and influence, especially since the Wagner Group's chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, attempted a mutiny against Putin in June.
Prigozhin's rebellion was short-lived, as two months later, a private jet carrying him and his top lieutenants crashed, resulting in the deaths of everyone on board. Following this incident, Putin announced that Wagner mercenaries could sign contracts and pledge their allegiance to Russia.
Wagner, known for its involvement in conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, has been a key instrument in advancing Russian interests across Africa as well. Its feared mercenaries have played a crucial role in securing Russia's strategic objectives in various regions. Putin himself acknowledged that the Kremlin had financed Wagner's operations.
The revelation of Redut's recruitment of mercenaries under the guise of "volunteers" raises concerns about the intensification of Russia's military activities and the potential consequences of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The recruitment of experienced fighters from the Wagner Group suggests that Redut is keen on expanding its capabilities and influence on behalf of Russia.
As the situation continues to develop, it is crucial for international observers to closely monitor Redut's activities and assess the implications for regional stability. The involvement of private military companies in conflicts raises important questions about accountability and the potential for escalation.
It remains to be seen how the international community will respond to these revelations and their impact on the ongoing Ukraine crisis.