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UK Intel: Russia moves to integrate Wagner Group into National Guard

Rosgvardia is reportedly offering Wagner volunteers six-month contracts for Ukraine and nine-month deals for Africa.
How Wagner Group exports Putin-style rule to Africa
Russian Wagner Group forces serve as the presidential guard of President Touadéra of CAR. Photo: Clément Di Roma/VOA Wikipedia Commons

The Russian National Guard, Rosgvardia, is incorporating three former Wagner Group assault detachments into its new Volunteer Corps formation, according to a UK defence intelligence update on Thursday.

This indicates that Russia is continuing processes to assimilate the Wagner private military company, a process that was launched following Wagner’s unsuccessful 2023 coup and subsequent assassination of Wagner leader Prigozhin.

The update states that on 25 December 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law authorizing Rosgvardia to establish its own volunteer units.

The UK Ministry of Defence assessment says that Rosgvardia will likely deploy its new volunteer detachments to both Ukraine and Africa. Rosgvardia is reportedly offering Wagner volunteers six-month contracts for Ukraine and nine-month deals for Africa.

Per the intelligence update, the incorporation of former Wagner assault detachments into Rosgvardia’s Volunteer Corps indicates the Wagner Group has been successfully subordinated to official Russian control. This increases the Kremlin’s command and control over the mercenary force, UK intelligence concludes.

Apart from playing a key role in the war against Ukraine, Wagner PMC is helping expand Putin-style authoritarianism to the Central African Republic, Mali, and Sudan in exchange for gold that helps Fund Russia’s war against Ukraine. More about this in our reports:

How Wagner Group exports Putin-style rule to Africa
Blood Gold: How Kremlin mercenaries loot Africa to wage war in Ukraine

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