Russia Expands Private Military Companies at Front Lines

New security firms created by Russia’s biggest state corporations, former military officers and businessmen are sending men to the front lines in Ukraine to help Moscow as it seeks more soldiers, according to a May 29 Wall Street Journal report.

Russian energy giant Gazprom now supplies more than gas: It has created private security companies and deployed them to fight in Ukraine. Existing private security firms, often controlled by former Russian Army officers, have also recruited new members that were sent to fight under the command of the Defense Ministry.

The companies are similar to Russia’s Wagner Group, a private military company with over 50,000 soldiers that has supported Russian President Vladimir Putin in the war. The new private security companies are smaller than Wagner, but they are demonstrating their loyalty to Putin, analysts said. The new companies are paying significantly higher wages than Wagner, and some are also better trained.

Lack of manpower has been one of Russia’s main problems in the war, which has lasted far longer than expected. This shortage has led Putin to outsource some recruitment to the private sector.

Since everything hasn’t gone according to plan, Russians are looking for ways of improvising, and if Wagner works, why not increase the number of private military companies?
—Ruslan Pukhov, head of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies

Arseniy Pogosyan, a former official at the Russian Energy Ministry, said a security guard working for Gazprom was forcibly recruited to fight in Ukraine. “He was given no option but to be fired,” he said.

Determined to win: Despite Russia’s losses in manpower and ammunition, Putin is more determined than ever to conquer Ukraine. He is doing whatever he can to send more troops to the front lines.

In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes that Ukraine is “the linchpin of [Putin’s] goal of a renewed imperial Russia!”

To learn more, read “Putin Can’t Afford to Lose in Ukraine.”