Kimberly Marten (Professor and Chair, Barnard Political Sciene) participated in discussion with Jeffrey Mankoff at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The talk, "Russia's 'Private' Military Companies: The Example of the Wagner Group" aired at 10:00 am ET on the CSIS website. Watch the recording.
Russia frequently employs semi-state "private" military companies. We know that the Wagner Group, for example, has been used in Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Libya, Mozambique, and Mali (so far). Wagner is tightly connected to Russia's military intelligence organization (the GRU), and funded by one of Vladimir Putin's close associates, Yevgeny Prigozhin (who also uses it for private duties). So why does Wagner remain technically illegal (and even unconstitutional) in Russia? And what implications does the Wagner Group pattern have for the interests and future operations of the US and its allies?