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Resistance center: Russia sets up new PMC under Surovikin, eyes Wagner recruits

General Sergei Surovikin, who disappeared after a Wagner Group mutiny in June, is now spearheading a Russian PMC seeking to poach Wagner fighters
Surovikin in Algeria
Russian media shared images of Surovikin in Algeria with a Russian MoD delegation on 15 September.
Resistance center: Russia sets up new PMC under Surovikin, eyes Wagner recruits

Russia has established a new private military company that will likely be led by General Sergei Surovikin, who was recently spotted in Algeria, the Ukrainian National Resistance Center reports.

According to the Center, Russia’s defense ministry is currently sending representatives to Belarus and African countries like Algeria, Mali, and Sudan. Moscow aims to convince as many Wagner mercenaries as possible to sign contracts with the new Russian PMC.

Surovikin has reportedly been tasked with setting up the new PMC. “There is ongoing competition for trained human resources between Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s Gardservice and the new Russian PMC led by the defense ministry,” the Center said.

Surovikin disappeared from public view after the June mutiny of Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin’s ex-convicts. Media reported he was dismissed from service and detained by Russia’s FSB.

On 22 August, reports emerged that Surovikin was relieved as commander of Russia’s Aerospace Forces “in connection with transitioning to another job.”

On 15 September, Russian state media published photos of Surovikin in Algeria.

Surovikin and Ukraine

General Surovikin was initially the commander of the Southern Grouping of Forces of the Russian Armed Forces, which invaded Ukraine from Crimea and the Azov Sea. He was then promoted to the commander of all Russian forces invading Ukraine in October 2022, after the previous commander, Andrei Kartapolov, was killed in a Ukrainian drone strike.

However, he was demoted to deputy commander and replaced by Valery Gerasimov in January 2023, after Russia suffered several military setbacks and losses in Ukraine.

Surovikin is known for his brutality and ruthlessness, as he oversaw the destruction of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and civilian targets by Russian missiles and airstrikes. He also has a history of leading Russia’s operations in Syria, where he commanded the Russian Aerospace Forces that bombed rebel-held areas.

Surovikin is considered to be close to Putin’s regime and loyal to his order. He is also unpopular among his subordinates and the Wagner mercenary group, which rebelled against him in June 2023. He and 12 other senior officers were detained amid the insurrection.

Here are 5 potential headlines for this report:

Surovikin Spotted Creating New Russian PMC, Aims for Wagner Mercs
Russia Forms Surovikin-Led PMC, Competes for Wagner Soldiers
Moscow Launches Surovikin’s PMC to Draw Wagner Fighters
Surovikin Returns to Lead Russian PMC, Targets Wagner Men

Here are 5 potential 1-sentence ledes:

Russia has created a new private military company led by General Sergei Surovikin that aims to recruit fighters from the notorious Wagner Group.

After months out of the public eye, General Sergei Surovikin has resurfaced to lead a new Russian PMC targeting Wagner mercenaries.

General Sergei Surovikin, who disappeared after a Wagner Group mutiny in June, is now spearheading a Russian PMC seeking to poach Wagner fighters.

Russia’s defense ministry has set up a new PMC under General Sergei Surovikin to compete with Belarus for Wagner Group recruits.

General Sergei Surovikin, recently spotted in Algeria, has been tasked by Russia with establishing a new PMC to attract Wagner mercenaries.

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