As reported Ilya Christmas, Anton Baev and Pauline Rusyaeva at article Online RBC “ghosts of war: How did the Russian private army in Syria”, in the Syrian conflict are actively involved so-called “Wagner group”. Its use has managed to sum up 10,3 bn. Our blog is the text of the investigation.
PMCs around the world - great business: "Private entrepreneurs" often substitute for the armed forces. In Russia, they outlawed. But Syria has been run-in Russian prototype PMC - "a group of Wagner", and authorities again think about the legalization
Military unit on the farm Molkino Krasnodar Krai - custodial facility. Here deployed 10th separate special forces brigade of the Main Intelligence Directorate (Fishermen) Ministry of Defense, He wrote "Gazeta.ru,". A few dozen meters from the federal highway "Don" - the first checkpoint on the way to the base. Then the road forks: left - owned part of the town, straight - polygon, explains journalist RBC guard at a checkpoint. For ground - another checkpoint with guards, armed AK-74. For this checkpoint is a camp of private military companies (PMC), says one of the officers of the military unit.
In this structure, there is no official name, the name of its leader and the proceeds were not disclosed, and the very existence of the company, perhaps, the largest on the market, not advertised - formally PMCs in this country is illegal. RBC magazine figured, that is the so-called PMC Wagner, from what sources and how it is funded and why Russia can appear business of private military companies.
Mercenaries and the "private traders"
Military man under Russian law can only work on the state. mercenary activities prohibited: for participation in armed conflict on the territory of the other country's Criminal Code provides for up to seven years in prison (Article. 359), for recruiting, training, finansirovanie mercenary, before - "as well as its use in an armed conflict or hostilities" 15 years. other laws, regulating the PMC, in Russia there is no.
The world situation is different: principles of private military and security companies registered in the autumn adopted 2008 year "Montreux Document". it was signed by 17 nations, including the US, United Kingdom, China, France and Germany (Russia is not among them). Document allows people, did not take place in the public service, provide services for the armed protection of objects, service combat systems, military training, etc..
A report issued in 2011 the UN report, the annual market for private military services company analysts estimated in the amount of $20 billion to $100 billion, profit organization War on Want in 2016 - to $ 100-400 billion. The figures are approximate: eg, US Commission on military contracts, data on which the UN has relied in his report on the growing number of human rights violations by mercenaries, at 2011 year marks the, that at the end of the financial year, the cost of contracts with private military companies only in Iraq and Afghanistan will exceed $206 billion. Proceeds of the largest PMCs in the world - G4S Plc - in 2015 year was $10,5 billion: in Russia it is comparable only with the same indicator of the "Bashneft" and a third more, than the "Norilsk Nickel".
The use of "privateers" characteristic of Western countries, where increasingly high rejection of large losses, It explains the general director of the Center for Strategic Assessments and forecasts Sergey Grinyaev. Large casualties among the personnel of the armed forces may influence the decision to terminate the operations and the withdrawal of troops, as was the case with the Special Forces, to participate in the UN peacekeeping operation in Somalia, says expert. AT 1993 year, during urban warfare in Mogadishu, Americans have lost 18 human, about 80 soldiers were wounded, one was captured. This accelerated the withdrawal of US troops from the country. Such situations can be avoided, if it is not a regular army, and on private military companies, sure Grinyaev.
Reduction of losses due to the use of PMCs soldiers - a common practice, The applied, eg, in Iraq and Afghanistan. FROM 2008 the number of employees of private companies in these countries exceeds the number of US troops, and at least from 2010 to the "private owners" have to a major percentage of dead and wounded, According to the Private Security Monitor project the University of Denver (USA).
time the last attempt to legalize the PMCs in Russia was made in March 2016 of the year, when the deputies of the "Fair Russia" Gennady Nosovka and Oleg Mikheev made to the State Duma a draft law on private military and security companies. The objectives of this activity document called "participation in ensuring national security by making and providing military protection works and services", protection of Russia's interests abroad, promotion of Russian PMCs to world markets, etc.. Wherein, according to the bill, these companies intended to prohibit "direct participation in armed conflict… in the territory of any State ".
itsenzirovaniem PMC should have engaged the Ministry of Defense, monitor the implementation of the law - the Federal Security Service and Prosecutor General's Office.
The final decision on the document was not adopted - its consideration postponed to autumn, but the authors of the bill themselves decided to withdraw its. Spring document - this is the third attempt to legalize Nosovka PMCs in Russia, with the deputy of the biography is not connected with the Armed Forces: except in 2014 he was awarded the Ministry of Defense "For Strengthening Military Cooperation" medal. MP hopes, that he will be able to modify the document and resubmit it in the fall. In a conversation with the magazine said RBC Nosovka, that in the discussion of the bill on the round tables with the participation of specialized agencies of the security forces were generally supportive of the initiative, but we were asked to correct various shortcomings. "There is a sharp denial, but, eg, representatives of the GRU and the FSB say, that now it is not necessary to aggravate the situation and open the Pandora's box ", - noted Nosovka.
From the idea of legalization PMC authorities do not intend to abandon, FSB officer claims, familiar with the situation, and confirms source in MOD: the issue is studied, they say. Despite the absence of a law, Russia has a private military company. They do the same work, that of foreign counterparts: by escorting ships, following the Gulf of Aden near the coast of Somalia, where the pirates are operating, to the protection of sites in Africa and South-East Asia.
The Russian market is extremely small PMCs in scope, explains Boris Chikin, co-owner of Moran Security Group private military company (MSG). Of these military companies in Russia does not exist, nastayvaet Oleg Krynytsыn, owner of another major PMCs "RSB Group". The main activities of domestic firms are abroad. for example, employees of another major PMCs - "Anti-terror Center" - in the 2000s, carried out orders in Iraq, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and other countries.
To make it easier to work abroad, Russian PMC recorded in offshore subsidiaries. In particular, main founder MSG fractions with 50% is Neova Holdings Ltd (British Virgin Islands). The financial side of their business owners Russian PMCs do not disclose, accounting firms in the database "SPARK-Interfax", and no foreign registries.
Russian troops were not involved in full-scale ground operation in Syria, but in March 2016 the commander of Russian forces in the country, General Aleksandr Dvornikov said, that certain tasks are performed by the fighters on the ground. "I will not hide, that Syrian territory and are divisions of our special operations forces [highly mobile troops of the Ministry of Defense]», - Dvornikov said in an interview to "Rossiyskaya Gazeta". According to him, military carried out additional exploration projects for air strikes, We are doing guided aircraft against targets in remote areas and have decided to "other special tasks".
"Tasks" in Syria performed Sergei Chupov, who died in the country in February 2016 of the year, RBC told his friend. According to him, Chupov served in the Interior Troops, but he resigned in the early 2000s. This information was confirmed to RBC another familiar Chupova. The representative of Ministry of Defense did not comment on the information about the victim. Military Prosecutor's Office of the Southern District in response to a request to RBC, Chupov that did not appear in the lists of Russian forces in Syria. interlocutor RBC, who knew the soldier, claims, veteran of internal troops, the past two Chechen campaigns, He was in Syria as a member of a private military company, It is known as the "group Wagner".
"Wagner" - call the head unit, in fact, his name is Dmitriy Utkin, before he served in the Pskov brigade GRU, say four interlocutor RBC, person familiar with the "Wagner". AT 2013 year Utkin, had left by the time the Armed Forces, I went to the Middle East as part of a group of fighters, recruited by "Slavic corpus". This subsidiary registered in Hong Kong Slavonic Corps Limited, He wrote "Kommersant". The company was entered in the register of legal entities 2012 year, its director Set citizen Anton Andreev Russia.
The leaders of the "Slavic housing" Yevgeny Sidorov Vadim Gusev, former managers of Moran Security Group, in hiring employees promised, that they will protect the pipeline and warehouse in Deir ez-Zor, city in eastern Syria, He stated "Kommersant" and told RBC source at MSG. Instead, the security of energy facilities 267 soldiers 'body' was ordered to support the rebels near the village of Al-Suhna in Homs province, RBC notes interlocutor. Without the necessary equipment and with outdated weapons they were ambushed by the militants of the "Islamic state" (an organization banned in Russia). In October 2013th fighters "Slavonic Corps' left Syria.
For the first time a "group of Wagner" and her involvement in the Syrian war in October 2015 year wrote "Fontanka": citing anonymous sources claimed edition, that the former employees of the "Slavic housing" later seen among the "polite people" in the Crimea during the events of February and March 2014 of the year, and even a year later - in the south-east of Ukraine, already as an independent unit. On participation of "Wagner's group" in the fighting on the side of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republic, also with reference to anonymous sources, at the end 2015 года писала The Wall Street Journal. In the same article WSJ journalists told about the death of the Middle East, nine members of the "Group of Wagner". The Russian Defense Ministry called the information "an injection of".
The base in Molkino was undeveloped shortly after the completion of the active phase "Lugano" operation - in the middle 2015 of the year, says one of the officers, worked in the "group of Wagner". In this camp the soldiers are trained before, how to go to Syria, explained RBC FSB officer and one of the fighters, who served under the "Wagner".
The establishment of a full-fledged PMCs in Russia was discussed many times, but a breakthrough in this regard took place after the events of the Crimean 2014 of the year, which are proven GRU unit, the source said RBC, close to the organization. It GRU secretly oversees "Wagner Group", confirmed RBC Defense officer and FSB, uploader, that this detachment arose after, as "aggravated situation in the world".
In the Middle East, "a group of Wagner" appeared shortly before, the fall 2015 , Russia officially started to deploy its bases, says the Ministry of Defense officer and confirmed by a source, familiar with the operation. In total, near Latakia and Aleppo located almost 2,5 thousand. human, led operation not only employees of the GRU, but the FSB, he adds.
Officially set in the squad, "Wagner" nobody declared, but the rumor quickly dispersed by groups in social networks, users who are actively interested in, "How to get to" PMC Wagner ". Lack of wishing there was: at 2016 at the same time the year were from Syria 1 thousand. to 1,6 thousand. PMC employees, depending on the climate of tension, source says, familiar with the operation. The Defense Ministry did not respond to a request to RBC, indeed in Syria war 'citizens, not in the service of the Russian Armed Forces', and justice li, these fighters are being trained at the base of the Krasnodar region.
Money to the soldiers, "Wagner Group" paid in cash, officially, they were nowhere to be decorated, and weapons and equipment purchases secret, explains RBC Defense officer and confirmed by two companion, familiar with the operation. According to them,, expenditure undertaken by the state and "senior businessmen". Their names RBC sides refuse even in an informal conversation with the recorder is turned off.
"Fontanka" in the summer 2016 year wrote about the connection of one of the entrepreneurs' group Wagner ": The publication claims, that during the last two years, "Wagner" moved to Russia, accompanied by people, working at the St. Petersburg restaurateur Eugene Prigogine. Surrounded by the commander of PMC "Fontanka" discovered security chief of one of the companies Prigogine Evgeny Gulyaev and his subordinates.
Prigogine owned company "Concord M" - one of the main suppliers of food to the Office of the President of Russian affairs, and food "Concord" Plant serves Moscow schools. Prigogine firms are virtually a monopoly in the market of school feeding capital, as well as one of the largest suppliers to the Defense Service: of imported food and engaged in cleaning in military units.
For private investors, the financing of PMC - a way to prove their loyalty, explains the source in the Ministry of Defense. for example, for closer cooperation with the Defense Ministry. RBC magazine revealed no evidence of, Prigogine that the firm provided financial support to the PMC. While in 2014 the volume of services, was associated with businessman companies Ministry of Defense and its structures, was 575 million rubles., to the 2015 the volume of contracts reached 68,6 billion rubles., It follows from the data of "SPARK-Marketing".
These contracts make up the lion's share of all public contracts, who received 14 companies (link most of these firms with Prigogine traces of "SPARK-Interfax"; the other structures are run by people, at various times worked with restaurateur, He wrote "Fontanka"). AT 2015 the total volume of tenders was won 72,2 bn.
The cost of maintaining PMC numbering several thousand people is quite difficult to calculate. "Wagner Group" does not pay for the lease of buildings and land, say two RBC interlocutor, familiar with the camp device. Public and private camp units located in the Krasnodar Territory, According Rosreestra, on a single plot of about 250 quarter. km. Information about how, who is the owner of the land, the database is not, but several neighboring areas are decorated in the territorial department of the Defense Ministry of Forestry.
The military department is engaged in the landfill equipment. According to the documents on the portal of state purchases, spring 2015 the Defense Ministry held an auction for the appropriate amount 294 million rubles., it became the winner of "Garrison", a subsidiary structure MOD. Undergone conversion and base Molkino: the landfill has been spent 41,7 million rubles.
The content of the database itself, as well as other military units, - also on the balance of the Ministry Sergey Shoigu. Tenders for services for garbage collection and transport of linen, sanitation, cleaning of territories, heat conducted packets to several tens or hundreds of military units, grouped on a territorial basis. On average, in 2015-2016 the Defense Ministry spent on a military unit 14,7 million rubles. excluding classified contracts, It follows from the procurement documentation six auctions, which refers to the base in the Krasnodar Territory.
On the export of waste one of the Ministry of Defense of the Southern Military District in 2015-2016 has allocated an average of about 410 thousand. rub.: pobedïtelem tender held company "Megaline". Co-owners of the firm to the end 2015 year were "Concord Management and Consulting" and "Lahti", which belonged at 50%. Until the mid 2011 , the owner of 14 percent stake in the company was the first Eugene Prigogine, and until September 2013 , he oversaw 80% "Lahti".
Care of one of the military district there were on average in 2015-2016 in 1,9 million rubles., technical maintenance of heat supply facilities - in 1,6 million rubles. The winners of the tenders for these services have become the company's "Ekobalt" and "Teplosintez" respectively (latest, According to "Fontanka", managing officer "Megaline"). The most expensive items on camp maintenance costs - cleaning. AT 2015 year cleaning one part of the Southern District of the Ministry of Defense has allocated an average of 10,8 million rubles. Contracts for cleaning Molkino have been concluded with the company "Agat" (a company registered in Lyubertsy, connection with Prigogine and his entourage could not be traced).
Unlike database maintenance contracts for the supply of food to the extent not available on the public procurement portal - this information falls under military secrecy, because it allows you to determine the number of fighters. Avito.ru on site in July, there was an announcement on the hiring of employees in the military canteen in Molkino. Employer listed company "Restoranservis Plus". A similar vacancy in May, was placed on one of the portals of Krasnodar. By phone, mentioned in one of the ads, RBC correspondent said a man named Alex, confirmed, that "Restoranservis Plus" looking for workers in the dining room of the military unit. The telephone number of the company coincides with the numbers of the two firms, related Prigogine, "Megaline" and "Concord Management and Consulting".
Do Krasnodar camp provided the PMC of the same public procurement, that GRU camp on the same basis, dont clear. interlocutor RBC, familiar with the construction part, claims, camps that are similar in size and dimensions, Therefore, the average cost of service applicable to the basis of "a group of Wagner". Most auctions, which is referred to a military unit in Molkino, the firm could earn, related to Prigozhin, - "Megaline" and "Teplosintez": These companies signed state contracts in 2015-2016 on 1,9 billion rubles., It follows from the procurement documentation.
the question, Does the company restaurateur associated with the financing of the "Group of Wagner", senior federal official just smiled and said,: "You have to understand - Prigogine very tasty food". In "Restoranservis Plus" companies, Ekoʙalt ', "Megaline", "Teplosintez", "Agate" and "Concord Management" did not respond to a request for RBC.
If contracts for the base service pass through electronic platforms, the wage costs of PMC soldiers is almost impossible to trace - the salary is given mainly in cash, claimed the fighters of the "Group of Wagner". Part of the money transferred to the instant card issuance, that do not specify the owner's name, and they are issued to foreign individuals, It specifies one of them and confirms MOD officer. Maps without a name produces a number of Russian banks, including Sberbank and Raiffeisen Bank, stated on their official websites.
Speaking about salaries, RBC interlocutors give similar figures. According to the driver, working on the basis of the Krasnodar Territory, civilians get about 60 thousand. rub. per month. RBC Source, familiar with the details of the military operation, points, PMCs that a fighter can count on 80 thousand. rub. monthly, It is based in Russia, and to 500 thousand. rub. plus a premium - in the zone of fighting in Syria. The salary of an employee of PMC in Syria rarely exceed 250-300 thousand. rub. per month, clarifies in a conversation with RBC Defense Ministry officer. With a minimum threshold of 80 thousand. rub. he agrees, and the average salary for the average estimates in 150 thousand. rub. plus fighting and compensation. When the maximum number of "groups of Wagner" 2,5 thousand. people their salary from August 2015 to August 2016 year could be between 2,4 billion (at 80 thousand. rub. per month) to 7,5 bn. (with monthly payments 250 thousand. rub.).
equipment cost for each soldier could reach $1 thousand., Travel and accommodation will cost the same amount per month, said Chikin from MSG. In this way, present value of 2,5 thousand. People in Syria excluding salaries can reach $2,5 million per month, or so 170 million rubles. (With an average dollar exchange rate 67,89 rub., Bank data).
Major losses on the Russian side in Syria it has PMCs, They say the interlocutors RBC, familiar with the details of operation. Their data on the number of dead vary. MoD officials insist, that only in the Middle East were killed 27 "Privateers", one of the former officers of the PMC says a minimum of 100 deaths. "From there, every third" two hundredth ", every second "three hundredth", - says the employee base in Molkino ("Cargo-200" and "cargo-300" - symbols when transporting body of the deceased and the wounded soldier, respectively).
RBC contacted the family of one of the dead fighters PMCs, but relatives refused to communicate. Later in the social networks of his relatives and friends were a few records, in which RBC correspondent action has been called a "provocation" and an attempt to tarnish the memory of the murdered. An officer from the "Group of Wagner's" claims, that the non-disclosure of the conditions of work in the PMC - the condition, that families would receive compensation.
Standard compensation to relatives of dead soldiers - up 5 million rubles., source says, familiar with the structure of PMCs (the same number are relatives of soldiers Russian Armed Forces, killed during fighting). But getting them is not always easy, He insists familiar "private trader" who was killed in Syria: often families have to literally beat out means. Defense Ministry officer specifies, that the family of the deceased relative are 1 million rubles., for wounded soldiers pay up 500 thousand. rub.
Given salaries, supply base, accommodation and meals annual maintenance "group Wagner" can cost from 5,1 billion to 10,3 bn. Non-recurring expenses for equipment - 170 million rubles., compensation to the families of those killed in the minimum loss assessment - from 27 million rubles.
PMCs and foreign security companies did not disclose the cost structure - because of their statements can not be "pull" any amount of training costs, no salary fighter, nor the value of the content group. In the mid-2000s in Iraq, employees of one of the most famous military Academi companies (previously it was called Blackwater) was prepared from $600 to $1,075 day, писала Washington Post. According to estimates of the edition, General of the US Army at the same time getting a little less $500 day. Veterans of the United States Marine Corps, engaged in training soldiers in Iraq, You could earn up $1 thousand., wrote The Associated Press. CNN estimated mercenaries paid a little more modest - in $750: many soldiers owed at the beginning of the war in Iraq.
Later, the monthly salary of "privateers", working in the Middle East, It could grow to about £ 10 thousand. (about $16 thousand. the average annual rate of), pointed Guardian. "AT 2009 year was a period of about three months, When we lose people every two or three days ", - leads edition of the words of a veteran of the British Army, who served at the time of contract in Afghanistan. Cumulative losses working in the Middle East PMCs the dozens of deaths and hundreds and thousands of wounded: eg, at 2011 was killed 39 fighters, and injured 5206 human.
"The Syrian Express"
Fighters to Syria get its own power, no centralized dispatch, explains one of the mercenaries. But loads for "Wagner Group" delivered by sea - to "the Syrian Express" ships. This name first appeared in the media 2012 year: so called court, supplying the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including military goods.
"Supply of military bases used with the auxiliary fleet. If the courts do not have enough, the Ministry of Defense employs conventional commercial ships, but the military cargo can not be transported on them ", - explains the source, familiar with the organization of the sea freight. among the ships, filled up the ranks of the Navy in the spring of 2015 of the year, there freighter "Kazan-60", which the, As he wrote the agency Reuters, part of the "Express". In recent years, he often changed owners: at the end of 2014 under the name of "Georgi Agafonov" the ship was sold to "Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company" Turkish company 2E Denizcilik SAN. VE TIC.A.S.
Turks resell it to the British firm Cubbert Business L.P., then, as they say in the letter 2E Denizcilik in the Ministry of Infrastructure (a copy is available at RBC), the owner was "located in Russia," the company TSA. among firms, associated with Eugene Prigogine, there is a legal entity of the same name, winner of multiple auctions for cleaning the Defense objects and member of one of the tenders for the maintenance base in Molkino. In October 2015 the ship entered the Black Sea Fleet (CF) Russian Navy under the name "Kazan-60". The command of the Black Sea Fleet did not respond to the question of RBC, how the fleet was the ship.
Just "Syrian Express" were involved in at least 15 civil ships: all of them in the fall 2015 year followed the route Novorossiysk - Tartus, says Voitenko, referring to the AIS data. Basically vessels are registered in the company, located in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Ukraine. Several companies are in Russia, It follows from the data services and marinetraffic.com fleetphoto.ru.
Charter a civilian ship Voitenko estimated at $4 thousand. day, of which $2 thousand. - its content, $1,5 thousand. - the cost of fuel and fees. Based on this evaluation, Rent only civilian ships from the "Express" for 305 days (30 September - 31 July) could make $18,3 million, or a little more 1,2 bn.
In the beginning of March 2016 , with support from the Assad army of the Russian aircraft launched an operation to liberate Palmyra: City managed to repulse through 20 days of fighting. "All the disparate gang LIH, break out, Russian aircraft destroyed, davalaim that does not go away in the direction of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor ", - said the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy.
A big role in the liberation of the historical districts of the Palmyra played PMCs soldiers, says ex-officer group. "First work guys" Wagner ", then part of the Russian land come, then the Arabs and the camera ", - he says. According to him, group "Wagner" is used mainly for the offensive in difficult areas. This reduces the losses among the regular forces in Syria, said the source in one of the PMCs.
"Wagner Group" is not quite correct to call a private military company, Sure, another representative of the market. "Detachment is not intended to make, it is not a business ", - he says. In the case of "a group of Wagner's" coincided interests of the state, which it took force to solve delicate problems in Syria, the desire to make a group of former soldiers, completing tasks in the interests of the country, explains the source of RBC, close to the leadership of the FSB.
In the same vein, in the fall of 2012, he advocated responsible for MIC Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin: "We are thinking about, whether our money flow out to finance foreign private security military companies, or we will look at the feasibility of establishing such companies within Russia itself and take a step in this direction ".
PMC - is also an opportunity for big business use armed guards, which will ensure the safety of overseas, such as pipelines or refineries, Grinyaev notes from the Center for Strategic Studies and forecasts. For the protection of its facilities, including in Iraq, LUKOIL in 2004 year, eg, Created agency ONION-A, and the safety of "Rosneft" facilities provide subsidiary company "RN-Guard".
"For the state, the use of private military companies may be financially beneficial only for specific tasks, but can not replace the army ", - said the expert strategic conjuncture Vladimir Neelov. Among the risks of legalizing PMCs he calls a possible outflow of personnel from among the active military - not only for financial reasons, but also for the sake of career.
As for the "PMC Wagner", then because of the appearance in the media about its connection to the database in the Ministry of Defense discussed Molkino translation "privateers", says FSB officer. According to him, Among the possible options - Tajikistan, Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia. This is confirmed by the source in the Ministry of Defense. At the same time he is confident: PMC will not disband - division proved to be effective.
With the participation of Elizabeth Surnachevoy