"Slavic Corps" returns to Syria

Recruitment of volunteers who want to risk their heads for Bashar al-Assad is open in Russia. "Fontanka" learned how to get to war, how much the life of a soldier of luck costs and what the famous German mystic anti-Semite has to do with it.

Fontanka – 16 October 2015

Original Article

The Russian military will not conduct a ground operation in Syria, Vladimir Putin assured. How to take part in operations that are not carried out by the Armed Forces of Russia, Fontanka found out.

The journalist was told the phone number to call to be in the ranks of a Russian private military company performing special tasks in the conflict zone. A call to a mobile number registered in the Rostov region was answered by a serious male voice.

– Hello, I was told that you can be contacted about the work.

– What kind of work are you interested in, in what specialty?

– Work abroad. As I understand it, this is Syria.

– In what specialty?

– I'm a machine gunner. I have serious experience.

– Do you have a passport?

– Yes.

– Are there any problems with the law?

– No, he was not tried, he was not involved, he was not wanted.

– Ask questions, what are you interested in?

– Terms of the business trip, payment, tasks?

– The contract is for a year, on a business trip – up to six months. The pay is high.

– I was told that this is 80 thousand rubles a week plus additional payment for combat exits.

– You were wrongly told. We do not have a weekly payment, we have a monthly payment. When preparing at the test site, this is 80 thousand rubles a month. When going on a business trip – 120 thousand. At… hmm.. conducting intensive operations – 240 thousand. That's the breakdown. But before you come to us, you will need to pass regulatory tests. In physical training, in medicine and in the specialty.

– Will I be retrained for another specialty?

– They won't. You will be checked in all directions. If you're a machine gunner, by fire.

– Who is the contract with?

– That's redundant for now.

– I am now in St. Petersburg, who should I contact?

– If you think that you meet our requirements and pass the tests, come to Molkino, to the Krasnodar Territory.

– Will this phone work?

– Yes.

Wagner PMC

The private military company recruiting fighters does not advertise the names. It is not in directories and registers. Among the initiates, it is known as the "Wagner PMC". Until recently, the main forces of this formation took part in the armed conflict on the territory of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, now it is being relocated to Syria.

Wagner's PMC is one of the most secret units fighting in Novorossiya. Commanders and fighters never give interviews, their photos with Ukrainian trophies do not appear on social networks, they are not mentioned in official releases by the authorities of the LPR and the DPR. Unofficially, they are called "cleaners". Wagner and his team are credited with shooting from grenade launchers the chief of staff of the 4th brigade of the DPR Alexander Bednov (Batman), the explosion of the commander of the brigade "Ghost" Alexei Mozgovoy, the disarmament of the special purpose brigade "Odessa", repressions among the "Cossacks" who operated in the east of the Luhansk region. The Ukrainian press considers the commander of the formation to be a current Russian officer, deputy commander of the Russian grouping of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the North Caucasus, former commander of the Vityaz special forces, Colonel of the Internal Troops Yevgeny Wagner. "Fontanka" found out the "combat path" of the unit and found out who is really hiding behind a mystical pseudonym.

In the footsteps of the "Slavic Corps"

The core of the future Wagner PMC was formed in the same place where the fighters went today – on the territory of the Syrian Republic. In the fall of 2013, Russian managers of the private military company Moran Security Group Vadim Gusev and Evgeny Sidorov formed a detachment of 267 "contractors" to "protect fields and oil pipelines" in the warring republic.

After a month of training in a camp near Latakia, instead of guarding drilling rigs, the Slavic Corps got involved in a combat clash with units of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS is an organization banned in Russia) and after injuring six of its fighters , retreated. The result of not an unplanned battle, not even monetary misunderstandings with the customer was the disarmament of the "corps" and the evacuation to Moscow. In Vnukovo, two charters from Syria were met by FSB investigators. Gusev and Sidorov were detained and charged with mercenarism. The fighters were interrogated and sent home, having previously seized electronic data carriers.

Six months later, as the participants told Fontanka, many of them met in the Crimea in the role of "polite people" who disarmed Ukrainian military bases. A little more than a year later, a previously unknown, well-armed and equipped unit appeared in the South-East of Ukraine. Less than two years later, the battalion, thinned out in battle, again loaded into the planes heading for Syria.

Well-known "Fontanka" condottiers from the Wagner PMC were extremely restrained in communicating with journalists, but they shared part of the knowledge. According to them, the "Slavic Corps" as a single unit ceased to exist in October 2013, when the commanders went under arrest, and the fighters left for their regions. They returned to service again to another customer. Their colleague, who became a commander from a fighter, Called , Wagner.

Colonel Yevgeny Wagner of the Internal Troops has nothing to do with the PMC of the same name. A man with the call sign "Wagner" served not in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but in the special forces units of the GRU of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia. The last place of service is the commander of one of the separate detachments of the Second Separate Spetsnaz Brigade of the GRU GSH, which is stationed near Pskov. He was discharged into the reserve as a lieutenant colonel. He worked under contract with moran Security Group, protecting ships in dangerous areas from pirate attacks. In September 2013, together with the Slavic Corps, he visited Syria for the first time. He wasn't a commander at the time and he wasn't a Wagner. He took the pathetic call sign after a Syrian business trip. As his colleagues say, "the roof leaked": "Turned on the German theme. I imagined myself an Aryan."

The first work was allegedly in the Crimea: "The group "Polite people". They disarmed Ukrainian bases and established the Russian order." This work is remembered with good nostalgia: they paid a little, but the climate is pleasant, to live not in a trench and the risk is nominal. The idyll did not last long, soon Wagner's PMC began work on the lands of the self-proclaimed Novorossiya.

In addition to the "PMC operators" from the former Slavic Corps, pros from all over the country were drawn to Wagner: who was attracted by the terms of payment, who was attracted by the "possibility of professional growth", who was ideologically motivated. Who Wagner doesn't have is the locals and the Russian military "vacationers." No one gave announcements about the recruitment, as in the pastoral times of the "Slavic Corps". Taught by the experience of their predecessors, the owners of PMCs try not to leave traces on the Web. But, despite the lack of advertising, any military specialist through two or three phone calls can find his way to the unit.

How much does war cost?

In the "Slavic Corps" promised 5 thousand US dollars a month, in the Wagner PMC the rates are in rubles. 80 thousand during training in Molkino, 120 thousand – when crossing the border of Ukraine. With measures "to restore order" in the territory controlled by the LPR, – 180 thousand rubles per month. For combat operations with Ukrainian units – "combat" 60 thousand rubles a week plus the salary. "Syrian" prices are almost the same. The price of life is the promised 3 million rubles to the family.

Each fighter, upon entering the service, signs a contract that is symbolic, since it is clear that in the event of anything, it is impossible to recover money from the "employer" on it. There are no guarantees, but Wagner has a reputation: "Clear monetary calculation, no flyers. A lot of money has been invested, solid equipment, solid training."

For comparison: militiamen from the "official" armed formations of the DPR and LPR receive about 15 thousand rubles a month – just for kurevo, toiletries and mobile communications.

Polygon

Even the proven and experienced get into the conflict zone only through the training center. According to our interlocutors, the preparation before being thrown across the border took place in the Rostov region, then the base was moved to Molkino near Krasnodar.

Two PMC camps are adjacent to the location of the 10th separate brigade of the GRU special forces: "Preparations are going on day and night, day and night. They shoot from everything. A lot of money is allocated, an insane amount. One Kornet ATGM stands like a machine. Shoot 10 to 15 every day, is that like?"

Cleaners and saboteurs

"At first, near Lugansk, there was clean work on the enemy. Then it went… began to impose "constitutional order" inside – to comb the arrogant commanders and Cossacks, "the veterans explained.

Both the Ukrainian press and many commentators from among the Luhansk militias consider Wagner the executor of the murders of the chief of staff of the 4th brigade of the LPR Alexander Bednov and the commander of the "Ghost" Alexei Mozgovoy, who were in a protracted conflict with the head of the republic, Igor Plotnitsky. The interlocutors of Fontanka, having heard a direct question, looked at the journalist in surprise and remained silent. Note that among the supporters of Batman and Mozgovoy there is no single point of view on the involvement of the Wagner PMC in these liquidations.

If the story of the death of militia commanders is taboo, then the capture of the "separate brigade of the MGB of the LPR "Odessa" and the arrest of its commander Alexei Fomichev (Thomas) are spoken calmly and do not hide their role in "restoring order", demonstrating frank contempt for the combat qualities of militia and Cossack formations. Note that the Cossacks pay the Wagnerians in the same coin, considering them who were not in the trenches.

In the trenches of the Wagner PMC, apparently, he really rarely sits, the fighters, according to them, are involved mainly in the sabotage, reconnaissance and reconnaissance groups, they also control supply bases and accompany VIPs in the "green zone".

The contract is for a year, the usual mode of operation is a month in business, 10 days at home. From this period in Ukraine passes when two weeks, when three. Sometimes groups return after a few days if they are pressed hard and suffer losses.

There is no exact data on the losses of the Fontanka – their number lies between 30 and 80 dead. Among them, at least one Resident of St. Petersburg, who died on August 21, 2014.

Syrian anabasis

The Syrian theme has always been present. So, almost simultaneously with the "Slavic Corps", a group not connected with Gusev went on a business trip to Damascus under a contract with a mysterious Cypriot offshore company. In the fall of 2014, the first teams, according to informed interlocutors, left Wagner. A strict ban on traces in social networks is in effect, they could not be found. A photo discovered by Ukrainian bloggers and journalists, allegedly taken by Russian contractors in the al-Sayyamiya area in October 2014, was actually only posted on that date. As Fontanka has established, in fact, this photo of the Slavic Corps dates back to October 17, 2013, the day of the clash with ISIS.

The summer of 2015 is a turning point. In August, a serious team is formed in Molkino. In September, the fighters begin to leave for the place of service. The correspondent was convinced that they were sending fighters by military transport aircraft, along with military and humanitarian cargo sent to Bashar al-Assad.

It is difficult to say how many PMC contractors have been transported to Syria, estimates vary greatly, but if before September 2015 it was dozens of fighters, today it is hundreds, if not thousands. And each was promised 240 thousand rubles for a month of fighting.

At whose expense the war

Financing is the biggest secret of PMCs. Most soldiers do not know the name of their commander, almost no one knows who pays them.

Russian corporations, which can be considered private military companies, are well known, and their leaders claim that they have nothing to do with the Ukrainian events, nor with sending Landsknechts to Syria, nor with Wagner personally.

RSB-Group is not involved in sending anyone to Syria," says Oleg Krinitsyn, the company's CEO. – I've heard about it, but we haven't set such tasks. There will be proposals, there will be tasks – we will discuss."

Boris Chikin, Deputy General Director of Moran Security Group , explained that Wagner's previous work under the contract with Moran is a matter of the past days: "Please understand that our company has a very small staff of permanent employees – these are primarily organizers, managers. Employees directly involved in the protection of ships in pirate-prone areas enter into a temporary contract for a certain period of time, after which their relationship with Moran Security Group is terminated. " As for Syria, Boris Chikin assured: "Our company has not received proposals for participation in the Syrian project. If there are proposals, we will consider it."

Under great secrecy and whispers, the name of a well-known restaurateur close to the supreme power and the Ministry of Defense is called. But, as far as Fontanka knows, the unknown "gasket" firm, on whose behalf contracts for the war are concluded, is not formally connected either with the restaurateur himself or with the companies controlled by him.

Prospects

There is no reliable information about the actions and losses of PMCs in Syria in the autumn of 2015. Igor Strelkov at the profile forum reports that "in Syria, Wagner and other PMCs have already suffered sensitive losses," noting that "this is the beauty of cheap mercenaries from among the officers thrown into the street as a result of the reform of the army, that they do not even need to be buried – so, sand was sprinkled and enough is enough."

His anonymous opponent asked Fontanka to recall the combat qualities of the Slavic Corps: "On October 17, 2013, in the area of Al-Sakhna, 267 Russians were attacked by Islamists numbering more than 2,000 people. The terrorists lost up to 300 people, including two amirs. Russian losses were 6 wounded. There are no analogues of the successful conduct of a combat operation of this kind in modern history. There is no "Slavic Corps". But his fighters are fighting."

Denis Korotkov, Fontanka.ru

Recruitment of volunteers who want to risk their heads for Bashar al-Assad is open in Russia. "Fontanka" learned how to get to war, how much the life of a soldier of luck costs and what the famous German mystic anti-Semite has to do with it.

16.10.2015 17:13

ShareShare

The Russian military will not conduct a ground operation in Syria, Vladimir Putin assured. How to take part in operations that are not carried out by the Armed Forces of Russia, Fontanka found out.

The journalist was told the phone number to call to be in the ranks of a Russian private military company performing special tasks in the conflict zone. A call to a mobile number registered in the Rostov region was answered by a serious male voice.

– Hello, I was told that you can be contacted about the work.

– What kind of work are you interested in, in what specialty?

– Work abroad. As I understand it, this is Syria.

– In what specialty?

– I'm a machine gunner. I have serious experience.

– Do you have a passport?

– Yes.

– Are there any problems with the law?

– No, he was not tried, he was not involved, he was not wanted.

– Ask questions, what are you interested in?

– Terms of the business trip, payment, tasks?

– The contract is for a year, on a business trip – up to six months. The pay is high.

– I was told that this is 80 thousand rubles a week plus additional payment for combat exits.

– You were wrongly told. We do not have a weekly payment, we have a monthly payment. When preparing at the test site, this is 80 thousand rubles a month. When going on a business trip – 120 thousand. At… hmm.. conducting intensive operations – 240 thousand. That's the breakdown. But before you come to us, you will need to pass regulatory tests. In physical training, in medicine and in the specialty.

– Will I be retrained for another specialty?

– They won't. You will be checked in all directions. If you're a machine gunner, by fire.

– Who is the contract with?

– That's redundant for now.

– I am now in St. Petersburg, who should I contact?

– If you think that you meet our requirements and pass the tests, come to Molkino, to the Krasnodar Territory.

– Will this phone work?

– Yes.

Wagner PMC

The private military company recruiting fighters does not advertise the names. It is not in directories and registers. Among the initiates, it is known as the "Wagner PMC". Until recently, the main forces of this formation took part in the armed conflict on the territory of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, now it is being relocated to Syria.

Wagner's PMC is one of the most secret units fighting in Novorossiya. Commanders and fighters never give interviews, their photos with Ukrainian trophies do not appear on social networks, they are not mentioned in official releases by the authorities of the LPR and the DPR. Unofficially, they are called "cleaners". Wagner and his team are credited with shooting from grenade launchers the chief of staff of the 4th brigade of the DPR Alexander Bednov (Batman), the explosion of the commander of the brigade "Ghost" Alexei Mozgovoy, the disarmament of the special purpose brigade "Odessa", repressions among the "Cossacks" who operated in the east of the Luhansk region. The Ukrainian press considers the commander of the formation to be a current Russian officer, deputy commander of the Russian grouping of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the North Caucasus, former commander of the Vityaz special forces, Colonel of the Internal Troops Yevgeny Wagner. "Fontanka" found out the "combat path" of the unit and found out who is really hiding behind a mystical pseudonym.

In the footsteps of the "Slavic Corps"

The core of the future Wagner PMC was formed in the same place where the fighters went today – on the territory of the Syrian Republic. In the fall of 2013, Russian managers of the private military company Moran Security Group Vadim Gusev and Evgeny Sidorov formed a detachment of 267 "contractors" to "protect fields and oil pipelines" in the warring republic.

After a month of training in a camp near Latakia, instead of guarding drilling rigs, the Slavic Corps got involved in a combat clash with units of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS is an organization banned in Russia) and after injuring six of its fighters , retreated. The result of not an unplanned battle, not even monetary misunderstandings with the customer was the disarmament of the "corps" and the evacuation to Moscow. In Vnukovo, two charters from Syria were met by FSB investigators. Gusev and Sidorov were detained and charged with mercenarism. The fighters were interrogated and sent home, having previously seized electronic data carriers.

Six months later, as the participants told Fontanka, many of them met in the Crimea in the role of "polite people" who disarmed Ukrainian military bases. A little more than a year later, a previously unknown, well-armed and equipped unit appeared in the South-East of Ukraine. Less than two years later, the battalion, thinned out in battle, again loaded into the planes heading for Syria.

Well-known "Fontanka" condottiers from the Wagner PMC were extremely restrained in communicating with journalists, but they shared part of the knowledge. According to them, the "Slavic Corps" as a single unit ceased to exist in October 2013, when the commanders went under arrest, and the fighters left for their regions. They returned to service again to another customer. Their colleague, who became a commander from a fighter, Called , Wagner.

Colonel Yevgeny Wagner of the Internal Troops has nothing to do with the PMC of the same name. A man with the call sign "Wagner" served not in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but in the special forces units of the GRU of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia. The last place of service is the commander of one of the separate detachments of the Second Separate Spetsnaz Brigade of the GRU GSH, which is stationed near Pskov. He was discharged into the reserve as a lieutenant colonel. He worked under contract with moran Security Group, protecting ships in dangerous areas from pirate attacks. In September 2013, together with the Slavic Corps, he visited Syria for the first time. He wasn't a commander at the time and he wasn't a Wagner. He took the pathetic call sign after a Syrian business trip. As his colleagues say, "the roof leaked": "Turned on the German theme. I imagined myself an Aryan."

The first work was allegedly in the Crimea: "The group "Polite people". They disarmed Ukrainian bases and established the Russian order." This work is remembered with good nostalgia: they paid a little, but the climate is pleasant, to live not in a trench and the risk is nominal. The idyll did not last long, soon Wagner's PMC began work on the lands of the self-proclaimed Novorossiya.

In addition to the "PMC operators" from the former Slavic Corps, pros from all over the country were drawn to Wagner: who was attracted by the terms of payment, who was attracted by the "possibility of professional growth", who was ideologically motivated. Who Wagner doesn't have is the locals and the Russian military "vacationers." No one gave announcements about the recruitment, as in the pastoral times of the "Slavic Corps". Taught by the experience of their predecessors, the owners of PMCs try not to leave traces on the Web. But, despite the lack of advertising, any military specialist through two or three phone calls can find his way to the unit.

How much does war cost?

In the "Slavic Corps" promised 5 thousand US dollars a month, in the Wagner PMC the rates are in rubles. 80 thousand during training in Molkino, 120 thousand – when crossing the border of Ukraine. With measures "to restore order" in the territory controlled by the LPR, – 180 thousand rubles per month. For combat operations with Ukrainian units – "combat" 60 thousand rubles a week plus the salary. "Syrian" prices are almost the same. The price of life is the promised 3 million rubles to the family.

Each fighter, upon entering the service, signs a contract that is symbolic, since it is clear that in the event of anything, it is impossible to recover money from the "employer" on it. There are no guarantees, but Wagner has a reputation: "Clear monetary calculation, no flyers. A lot of money has been invested, solid equipment, solid training."

For comparison: militiamen from the "official" armed formations of the DPR and LPR receive about 15 thousand rubles a month – just for kurevo, toiletries and mobile communications.

Polygon

Even the proven and experienced get into the conflict zone only through the training center. According to our interlocutors, the preparation before being thrown across the border took place in the Rostov region, then the base was moved to Molkino near Krasnodar.

Two PMC camps are adjacent to the location of the 10th separate brigade of the GRU special forces: "Preparations are going on day and night, day and night. They shoot from everything. A lot of money is allocated, an insane amount. One Kornet ATGM stands like a machine. Shoot 10 to 15 every day, is that like?"

Cleaners and saboteurs

"At first, near Lugansk, there was clean work on the enemy. Then it went… began to impose "constitutional order" inside – to comb the arrogant commanders and Cossacks, "the veterans explained.

Both the Ukrainian press and many commentators from among the Luhansk militias consider Wagner the executor of the murders of the chief of staff of the 4th brigade of the LPR Alexander Bednov and the commander of the "Ghost" Alexei Mozgovoy, who were in a protracted conflict with the head of the republic, Igor Plotnitsky. The interlocutors of Fontanka, having heard a direct question, looked at the journalist in surprise and remained silent. Note that among the supporters of Batman and Mozgovoy there is no single point of view on the involvement of the Wagner PMC in these liquidations.

If the story of the death of militia commanders is taboo, then the capture of the "separate brigade of the MGB of the LPR "Odessa" and the arrest of its commander Alexei Fomichev (Thomas) are spoken calmly and do not hide their role in "restoring order", demonstrating frank contempt for the combat qualities of militia and Cossack formations. Note that the Cossacks pay the Wagnerians in the same coin, considering them who were not in the trenches.

In the trenches of the Wagner PMC, apparently, he really rarely sits, the fighters, according to them, are involved mainly in the sabotage, reconnaissance and reconnaissance groups, they also control supply bases and accompany VIPs in the "green zone".

The contract is for a year, the usual mode of operation is a month in business, 10 days at home. From this period in Ukraine passes when two weeks, when three. Sometimes groups return after a few days if they are pressed hard and suffer losses.

There is no exact data on the losses of the Fontanka – their number lies between 30 and 80 dead. Among them, at least one Resident of St. Petersburg, who died on August 21, 2014.

Syrian anabasis

The Syrian theme has always been present. So, almost simultaneously with the "Slavic Corps", a group not connected with Gusev went on a business trip to Damascus under a contract with a mysterious Cypriot offshore company. In the fall of 2014, the first teams, according to informed interlocutors, left Wagner. A strict ban on traces in social networks is in effect, they could not be found. A photo discovered by Ukrainian bloggers and journalists, allegedly taken by Russian contractors in the al-Sayyamiya area in October 2014, was actually only posted on that date. As Fontanka has established, in fact, this photo of the Slavic Corps dates back to October 17, 2013, the day of the clash with ISIS.

The summer of 2015 is a turning point. In August, a serious team is formed in Molkino. In September, the fighters begin to leave for the place of service. The correspondent was convinced that they were sending fighters by military transport aircraft, along with military and humanitarian cargo sent to Bashar al-Assad.

It is difficult to say how many PMC contractors have been transported to Syria, estimates vary greatly, but if before September 2015 it was dozens of fighters, today it is hundreds, if not thousands. And each was promised 240 thousand rubles for a month of fighting.

At whose expense the war

Financing is the biggest secret of PMCs. Most soldiers do not know the name of their commander, almost no one knows who pays them.

Russian corporations, which can be considered private military companies, are well known, and their leaders claim that they have nothing to do with the Ukrainian events, nor with sending Landsknechts to Syria, nor with Wagner personally.

RSB-Group is not involved in sending anyone to Syria," says Oleg Krinitsyn, the company's CEO. – I've heard about it, but we haven't set such tasks. There will be proposals, there will be tasks – we will discuss."

Boris Chikin, Deputy General Director of Moran Security Group , explained that Wagner's previous work under the contract with Moran is a matter of the past days: "Please understand that our company has a very small staff of permanent employees – these are primarily organizers, managers. Employees directly involved in the protection of ships in pirate-prone areas enter into a temporary contract for a certain period of time, after which their relationship with Moran Security Group is terminated. " As for Syria, Boris Chikin assured: "Our company has not received proposals for participation in the Syrian project. If there are proposals, we will consider it."

Under great secrecy and whispers, the name of a well-known restaurateur close to the supreme power and the Ministry of Defense is called. But, as far as Fontanka knows, the unknown "gasket" firm, on whose behalf contracts for the war are concluded, is not formally connected either with the restaurateur himself or with the companies controlled by him.

Prospects

There is no reliable information about the actions and losses of PMCs in Syria in the autumn of 2015. Igor Strelkov at the profile forum reports that "in Syria, Wagner and other PMCs have already suffered sensitive losses," noting that "this is the beauty of cheap mercenaries from among the officers thrown into the street as a result of the reform of the army, that they do not even need to be buried – so, sand was sprinkled and enough is enough."

His anonymous opponent asked Fontanka to recall the combat qualities of the Slavic Corps: "On October 17, 2013, in the area of Al-Sakhna, 267 Russians were attacked by Islamists numbering more than 2,000 people. The terrorists lost up to 300 people, including two amirs. Russian losses were 6 wounded. There are no analogues of the successful conduct of a combat operation of this kind in modern history. There is no "Slavic Corps". But his fighters are fighting."

Denis Korotkov, Fontanka.ru

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.