Wagnerites joined Russia’s national guard; Moscow now has direct control over PMC: UK

Large elements of Wagner private military company (PMC) have been assimilated into Russia’s National Guard which allows Moscow to exercise more direct control over the group’s activities and personnel, a UK intelligence update reported on Sunday.

“As of late October 2023, large elements of the Wagner Group private military company had likely been assimilated into the command structure of Russia’s National Guard (Rosgvardiya) and resumed active recruitment,” the UK intelligence report said.

It added: “This Wagner arm under Rosgvardiya is likely led by Pavel Prigozhin, son of the late Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin.”

Earlier in October, Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) posited that Pavel Prigozhin has emerged as an alternative leader for the mercenary group to Andrey Troshev, former Wagner commander who now serves in the ministry of defense and is endorsed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The think tank cited a well-known Telegram channel associated with the Wagner Group as announcing that Pavel, the 25-year-old son of Yevgeny Prigozhin, has assumed “command” of the Wagner Group. It was further reported that Pavel Prigozhin is in negotiations with Rosgvardia (the National Guard of Russia) about the potential re-engagement of the Wagner Group in combat operations in Ukraine.

The latest British war intelligence highlighted on Sunday that: “The Russian state is now exercising more direct control of Wagner Group activities and former personnel following the mutiny in July 2023 and subsequent death of Wagner’s leadership in August 2023.”

The British ministry of defense stated in its war intelligence update: “Other groups of Wagner fighters have highly likely joined another Russian PMC, Redut, which according to a Radio Free Europe investigation now has 7,000 personnel in total.”

UK intelligence had reported last month that Russia has used Redut private military company to replace Wagner personnel participation in the war on Ukraine, allowing Moscow to avoid another wave of mobilization.

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