Al-Hadas Reports Detention of Wagner PMC Commanders in Syria

According to reports from the Saudi TV channel Al-Hadas, the Russian military police have detained four commanders of the Wagner PMC in Syria. The commanders were reportedly detained shortly after a military mutiny in the Russian military. In addition to the detention of the commanders, the Russian military police also visited the Wagner PMC offices in Deir ez-Zor. Al-Hadas sources also report the detention of three “high-ranking” individuals associated with the Wagner PMC.

The Wagner Group, also known as PMC Wagner, is a Russian paramilitary organization that is variously described as a private military company (PMC), a network of mercenaries, or a de facto private army of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The group operates beyond the law in Russia, where private military companies are officially forbidden.

Wagner had 1,000 employees in early 2016, which later rose to 5,000 by August 2017, and 6,000 by December 2017. The organization was said to be registered in Argentina and has offices in Saint Petersburg and Hong Kong. Wagner Group has been involved in Kremlin-backed combat operations around the world in support of Putin’s war on Ukraine. The group is led by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a Putin crony and the target of multiple U.S. sanctions. The group is not registered either in Russia or anywhere else, and the Russian state not only tolerates but, in many cases, actively supports its actions. The career of Dmitry Utkin, the founder of the group, is linked to the Russian military intelligence agency GRU.

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