Wagner Team: What to know about Russian paramilitary team in Ukraine

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Immediately after a report indicated the Russian-backed Wagner Team deployed more than 400 mercenaries to Kyiv with the mission of assassinating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the private military services business is acquiring renewed interest from its past atrocities carried out at the behest of the Kremlin. 

A senior U.S. defense official explained to reporters Monday that there are reconnaissance forces in Kyiv but could not verify those people forces ended up ordered to assassinate Zelenskyy. 

The Moments of London noted about the alleged mission to decapitate Zelenskyy and his government, and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko issued a 36-hour nightly curfew in excess of the weekend, warning that any people who go exterior could be mistaken for enemy sabotage and reconnaissance teams. 


Russian President Vladimir Putin now blatantly invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine 5 times in the past via an overt armed forces procedure, but former U.S. intelligence officers explained to WHD News Digital that applying the Wagner Team, a non-public navy corporation, allows him to escape attribution if Zelenskyy is killed. 

Ukrainian police gesture during an airstrike alarm outside the railway station in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Explosions and gunfire that have disrupted life since the invasion began last week appeared to subside around Kyiv overnight, as Ukrainian and Russian delegations met Monday on Belarus border.

Ukrainian police gesture in the course of an airstrike alarm exterior the railway station in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Explosions and gunfire that have disrupted existence considering that the invasion started past 7 days appeared to subside all around Kyiv right away, as Ukrainian and Russian delegations fulfilled Monday on Belarus border.
( (WHD Photograph/Vadim Ghirda))

“We’ve noticed the Wagner Group lively in the Middle East, absolutely in Africa and even in Venezuela. They have induced no end of challenges for U.S. policymakers, and there have been attempts to sanction some of their leaders,” Dr. James Anderson, previous Acting Below Secretary of Defense for Policy, advised WHD News Electronic Monday. “Why they’re applying them in Ukraine now is an exciting dilemma mainly because of the reality that Russia has already dedicated to an overt navy hard work. It could very well be the situation that these stories are genuine, they will be spearheading makes an attempt to assassinate Zelenskyy and cupboard members.”

Due to the fact its inception in 2014, the Wagner Group has been deemed a proxy group of the Russian state abroad, according to the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Scientific tests (CSIS). 

It was founded by Dmitry Utkiny, a veteran of both Chechen wars and a previous member of the Main Intelligence Directorate, or the Russian intelligence agency abbreviated as GRU. He and other Wagner Team operatives participated in the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

“I would also observe that they have been active in the breakaway republics in Ukraine for a selection of several years,” Anderson explained to WHD News Digital. “I imagine it’s clever that the mayor of Kyiv, the territorial protection forces are instituting these curfews at night time because they’re lessening the likelihood that the un-uniformed Wagner staff can blend in with the regional populous.” 


A unique former U.S. intelligence official speculated to WHD News Electronic that Wagner operatives have additional most likely been in Kyiv for months – longer than the five weeks claimed by the Occasions – since Putin would have needed them there to acquire intelligence forward of his prepared armed service invasion of Ukraine. 

In a go supported by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the European Union in December moved to sanction the Russia-backed Wagner Group and its associates for critical human rights abuses, together with torture and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings, and destabilizing pursuits in countries together with Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic and Ukraine’s Donbas area.

Ukrainian police rush a traveler to the railway station terminal during an airstrike alarm in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. 

Ukrainian law enforcement hurry a traveler to the railway station terminal through an airstrike alarm in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. 
((WHD Picture/Vadim Ghirda))

Really should Wagner operatives be indicted in war crimes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfolds, Anderson mentioned the Intercontinental Legal Courts could develop into included to try to keep Russia accountable. 

“I feel the international legal local community is probably working on a range of briefs previously in respect to Putin’s naked aggression in Ukraine and could picture that they could be adhering to the Wagner Group and stories of war crimes very closely,” he stated. “This will become a element of the story transferring forward.” 

CSIS documented that in December Wagner operatives also began deploying to Mali as French forces commenced backing off on their armed service efforts from Salafi-jihadist groups in the area.

The Wagner Team has signaled other ties to Russia’s Ministry of Protection, as operatives have also consistently traveled on Russian military transportation plane when deploying to Venezuela to assist President Nicolas Madura, in Libya and to and from Syria, in accordance to the CSIS. 

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Russian businessman and Putin’s close ally, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, has been accused of fiscally backing the Wagner Group. Separately, the very same Russian oligarch is also needed by the FBI for allegedly making an attempt to interfere with U.S. elections from early 2014 to at least 2018 by way of the St. Petersburg-primarily based Web Investigation Agency, dubbed the “troll manufacturing unit.” 

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