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Thread: Life of Russian mercenaries in Syria

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
    Jul 2011


    Life of Russian mercenaries in Syria

    Mercenaries from Russia are 'buying' Syrian virgins for £75 as sexual partners as they fight a secret war against jihadists in support of Damascus dictator Bashar al-Assad, it has been reported.

    These clandestine Russian forces also decapitate captured jihadists receiving a bounty of £13 for each beheaded ISIS fighter, claimed a veteran hired gun.

    Moscow has denied deploying mercenaries in the country but in recent days two members of these unofficial private armies were seized by ISIS and are believed to have been beheaded.

    Now an ex-Russian army man serving as a mercenary has revealed secrets of the deployment, often at the frontline facing jihadist forces.

    Asked about rest and relaxation in war-ravaged Syria, he said the Russian fighters bought virgins to act as 'wives' either for a year for £75 or 'forever' at a cost of £1,130 to £1,500.

    A succession of Russian showbusiness stars have flown in to entertain Vladimir Putin's official troops stationed in the country.

    But the mercenary fighters are not even officially acknowledged as being there, and not permitted to attend or socialise with the regular armed forces, said Sergey from Donetsk, a former lawyer in his 30s, who has been a mercenary for four years first in eastern Ukraine - where Russia also denied deploying such forces - then Syria.

    'It is boring sometimes. But you can buy a wife,' he said. 'A virgin from a good family costs $100 for a year. If you take her forever, then it's $1,500-2,000.

    'It's easier to buy than to search for one. I know guys who got papers sorted for such brides and later took them back to Russia with them.

    'But it's mainly officers who can afford them.'

    He revealed that private army mercenaries like him receive no Russian medals - and if they are killed in action, their bodies will not be flown home.

    They call Syria the 'sandbox' and know that 'if something happens, no one will rescue them', revealed Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.

    'Their contract states that freight-200 (corpses) are not returned. Too expensive.'

    Sergey said: 'We are not given awards.....Our trip's aim is salary. Without patriotism.'

    Many were fooled into thinking their tours would not be too dangerous, he said.

    'Our recruiters were telling us: "You'll be protecting communications, checkpoints, oil derricks, rebuilding plants. And when we arrived - surprise! - it's the assault battalion".'

    Contracts specify that mercenaries do not speak about their work, indeed they are urged not even to tell their families where they are going.

    'I signed an agreement,' he said. 'There is a list of thing that we need to do, responsibilities, but no rights.

    'If you violate some article, for example, drinks at the front, you are fined. The whole unit is fined. But [people] drink little, it's too hot. But vodka in Syria is good.'

    He is paid £1,960 a month - 'my wife is pregnant, I have two children, a son and daughter, my parents are old.

    'I wouldn't earn it even in a year. Even if I am fooled and paid less, it's still better than nothing.'

    Recent reports highlighted how jihadists captured bearded father of two Roman Zabolotny (right), 39, and his comrade Grigory Tsurkanu (left), 38

    Two such private armies are operating now in Syria, he said, one called Wagner, the other Turan, and officially 'they have no relation to Russia's official military institutions', although on the ground work in tandem are essential for the success of Putin's military operations.

    When they flew by charter plane to Lattakia they were told to say there were 'peacemakers'.

    'We had those with jail terms, those who couldn't find a job at home, had no money, former volunteers who came to military training in Rostov, militants, even ethnic Ukrainians, including those who were fighting against us in Donbas (eastern Ukraine),' he said.

    'When the very first combatants were sent there, selection was strict, some say there even was competition.

    'Now they are taking everyone. I personally have seen an amputee, a person with no arm, he is a machine gunner. How can he shoot?

    'It seems to me that recruiters are lately paid for a number of recruited, not for the quality. That's why there are so many stupid losses.'

    Recent reports highlighted how jihadists captured bearded father of two Roman Zabolotny, 39, and his comrade Grigory Tsurkanu, 38, - both are believed to have been executed by beheading in a town square as fanatics cheered.

    The pair were said to have refused to give up their Orthodox faith and become ISIS-backing Muslims.

    Utkin is shown on the far right of a picture of Wagner chiefs with Putin (centre) at a Kremlin ceremony

    'They were from the group who came in May,' he said. '150 arrived here then, and in the first fight there were 19 freight-200s (killed). Numbers are simply hidden.

    'The media are getting minimal information about what's happening. The latest who arrived... their training was such that it was clear, they'll be dead.'

    Asked if he saw the pair who died as heroes, he said: 'Don't make me swear. They got cold feet. Because normal guys wouldn't allow to be captured alive.'

    He claimed the Russian mercenaries are also beheading jihadists.

    'Ours also cut them off. Why should I drag a whole body across the desert? At first their heads were paid at 5,000 roubles each (£65) for an ISIS man.

    'Our guys brought bunches of them. This is why the price was dropped - it was necessary to stop scaring locals. Lately they were paid 1,000 roubles (£13).

    'I don't know exactly because I am not doing it myself.'

    Families get compensation of around £39,000 for mercenaries killed in action, and £11,700 is paid for the wounded.

    'It is clear no-one will drag your corpse to the motherland because it's too expensive and there isn't much sense in it.

    'Three million roubles paid for the dead, a living person will only earn in two years.

    'But if you are injured while not wearing bulletproof vest or helmet, you might not be paid anything. And the vest weighs 18 kilograms. Who'll be dragging it on him in such heat? You are also fined for it.

    'But the families of those two whose heads were cut off will receive all the payments for sure - because the media made a noise.'

    He complained that the mercenaries are issued dud weapons.

    'Equipment is old, exhausted, produced long time ago,' he said. 'Chinese machine guns are given to us.'

    Earlier this year mercenary Ivan Slyshkin, 23, was fatally shot in the head after joining Wagner's private army to earn money for his wedding to girlfriend Kristina Gainutdinova, 20.

    His comrades raised money for his corpse to be returned to Russian for a funeral.

    Ruslan Leviev, founder of Conflict Intelligence independent investigation group, said: 'Our experience of watching this conflict tells us that Wagner private army mercenaries are the first to fight.

    'We think it is a strategy of the Defence Ministry of Russia: sending mercenaries to the hottest places, we avoid losses among official soldiers and keep the image of a successful combat operation.'

    RBC news agency claimed earlier this year that the Wagner forces had cost Russia £145 million during the Syrian conflict.

    Wagner - or Vagner - is the nickname of an ex-Russian special forces officer called Dmitry Utkin who runs the private army.

    He is reported to be the ex commander of the famous Pskov special forces brigade.

    He is shown on the far right of a picture of Wagner chiefs with Putin at a Kremlin ceremony.

    Other leaders include decorated former senior Russian army personnel.

    The force enabled Russia to deploy in Crimea, other areas of Ukraine and Syria, while denying its soldiers were on the ground.

    The funding for the secret army is believed to come from Russia's military budget.
    Russian mercenaries 'buying virgin wives for £75' in Syria | Daily Mail Online

    The Wagner Group works mostly for Big Oil, as I understand:

    MOSCOW — The Kremlin is bringing a new weapon to the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria, using market-based incentives tied to oil and mining rights to reward private security contractors who secure territory from the extremists, Russian news outlets have reported.

    So far, two Russian companies are known to have received contracts under the new policy, according to the reports: Evro Polis, which is set to receive profits from oil and gas wells it seizes from the Islamic State using contract soldiers, and Stroytransgaz, which signed a phosphate-mining deal for a site that was under militant control at the time.

    The agreements, made with the Syrian government, are seen as incentives for companies affiliated with Russian security contractors, who reportedly employ about 2,500 soldiers in the country, to push the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, out of territory near Palmyra, in central Syria.

    Most Middle Eastern wars are suspected of having some variant of this deal, but it is seldom made as explicit as in the Russian contracts.

    “It’s all very simple,” Ivan P. Konovalov, director of the Center for Strategic Trends Studies, said by telephone of the deals, struck in December but just recently reported. “If a company provides security, then the country getting that service should pay. It doesn’t matter how the payment is made.”

    In the petroleum deal, Evro Polis, a corporation formed last summer, will receive a 25 percent share of oil and natural gas produced on territory it captures from the Islamic State, the news site reported.

    The website has a record of accurately reporting about private security companies in Russia, and just last month Washington appeared to corroborate one of its earlier reports by imposing sanctions on a Russian whose activities first came to light in the publication.

    Fontanka’s latest article on the topic, published last week, detailed how Evro Polis was cooperating with a shadowy Russian private security group called Wagner, which American sanctions suggest has also provided contract soldiers to the war in Ukraine.

    The deal is distinct from the common practice of oil majors and other corporations outsourcing security in hot spots in the Middle East and elsewhere. Under the contract, the wells are not just to be guarded, but to be captured first, the article said.

    “The arrangement returns to the times of Francis Drake and Cecil Rhodes,” it noted, referring to two figures from British history whose careers mixed warfare and private profit.

    Evro Polis, according to Fontanka and public company records in Russia, is part of a network of companies owned by Evgeniy Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman close to President Vladimir V. Putin and known as “the Kremlin’s chef” for his exclusive catering contracts with the administration. His company, Concord Catering, also supplies food to many of Moscow’s public schools, according to Russian news reports.

    Journalists have reported that Mr. Prigozhin engaged in another recent Russian experiment in restoring influence abroad while keeping costs down: He set up a factory of so-called internet trolls in St. Petersburg, an office packed with low-paid people posting online under assumed identities to influence public opinion in foreign countries, including the United States.

    Last month, the Treasury Department in Washington imposed sanctions on Dmitri Utkin, the founder of Wagner, the private security group the report said would capture the Syrian oil and gas wells for Evro Polis. Fontanka first linked Mr. Utkin to Wagner in an article in 2015.
    Russia Deploys a Potent Weapon in Syria: The Profit Motive -

    They have been accused of atrocities. I wrote before about them torturing some guy with a fucking sledgehammer, a video of it came out: Breaking: Terrifying Footage Of Russians Torturing Prisoner With Sledge Hammer

    Now, that we know they also do decapitations, that explains the severed head you can glimpse at one point in the vid... Scary dudes.

    There are neo Nazis among them, like these guys from RNE (Russian National Unity)

    They used to have a Slavic swastika as their symbol, but now carry the Cross instead. They are more about religion than race now. Orthodox Christian version of jihadis, essentially. That's what it takes, I suppose. Beat their crazy with your own crazy... Fire with fire, and all that...

    When, back in 2016, famous Russian TV presenter (and Kremlin propaganda man) Dmitry Kiselyov and his wife visited Damascus, unknown armed men provided security for them

    Also assumed to be Wagner boys.

    But, all in all, they are rarely seen. Here is one other pic, I think of a Wagner guy, that I found out there

    Enjoying himself, clearly lol

    Mercenary work actually remains officially illegal in Russia, although the Kremlin allows these groups to exist anyway, both for more or less legit purposes, such as security of embassies in "hot-zones" like, here, Baghdad, Iraq

    and, also, to use them for such purposes, where they need total deniability, both abroad and to the public at home.

    The actual, legit Russian Special Operations Forces (SSO) in Syria are often followed around by correspondents and film crews from national TV stations

    Their exploits and adventures are televised and heralded far and wide (albeit, of course, without revealing anyone's name or face, of course).

    But these guys work in complete anonymity. Wagner Group itself has no office address or phone number or website. Officially, they do not exist. There are rumours of a secret base, at a military installation near Rostov, in Southern Russia, where they reportedly train their recruits. But that's all the info out there. Even less is known about the other group, Turan. They fight, kill, and die in obscurity.

    Their lives are worth little. If they die, they are simply replaced. Those two who got captured by ISIS, the government refused to even acknowledge them as citizens...

    Wagner reportedly has foreigners among them. Ukrainians, from Donbass, etc; Belarusians; I have read about a Serbian who was killed in action over there, with Wagner. They only take white Orthodox Slavs though, I believe. No Muslims, or any kind of minorities at all. The other group, Turan, on other hand, I heard they are mainly ex-Special Forces from former Soviet Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan. Especially there to fight and kill ISIS and AQ members also from Central Asia, whom they see as traitors and such...

    The regular military play their part

    But, these guys go into places where the government doesn't want to waste the lives of regular troops, basically.

    And, FWIW, they are well compensated, by Russian standards. 1,960 Brit Pounds is about $2,600 US. A nice monthly salary even here in Canada, let alone in Russia. Aside, of course, from the high chance of getting killed hehe

    Anyway, I am sure the virgin wives are also very nice.

    In Latakia, where the Russians (military and mercenaries too) are mainly based, there are some lovely, gorgeous ladies they have there

    I am sure the boys all appreciate that lol
    Last edited by The Man; 12th October 2017 at 04:28 PM.
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  2. #2
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
    Jul 2011

    As Russia counts the cost of victories in Syria two years after the start of its overt military intervention, there is apparent surprise at the news that two fighters from a Russian mercenary unit have been killed by Daesh. The Defence Ministry in Moscow immediately denied the news, stressing that there are no Russian prisoners of war in Syria.

    The Kremlin promised to look into the identity of the men who are said to be Russians. Just as it has done in east Ukraine, Russia has denied the presence of any of its mercenaries fighting in Syria.

    However, a brother of one of the killed fighters from the Moscow suburbs told Al-Hurra radio that his brother did belong to a mercenary unit. “The fighters are lured by money and are sent to be slaughtered, and then the authorities deny this. The state established a private army under the name ‘Wagner’, and my brother was part of it.”

    He added that his brother also fought in east Ukraine in 2014 as part of the Slavonic Corps, which later became the “Wagner mercenary army”. Thousands of young Russians are said to have fought with the unit and been killed.

    “Why doesn’t Russia establish an official Special Forces unit with these fighters rather than use them as bait?” asked the anonymous relative. “Their existence is then denied when they are killed. President Putin himself has granted Wagner officials awards in the Kremlin. Why are official awards granted to the leaders of this private military company, while the fighters are denied when they are injured or killed?”

    He added his belief that an official announcement of the Wagner private army would force the Russian leadership to announce the real number of its losses in Syria, which are “much higher” than has been admitted.

    According to the girlfriend of the other fighter killed by Daesh, “Wagner” trains its fighters at an official military base in Krasnodar and promises to pay them well, about $4,000 a month. However, she said that they are only paid about half of that, while they pay the families of fighters killed between $22,500 and $52,000 depending on their rank and mission. She also said that the contract that the fighters sign with Wagner “would make anyone’s hair stand on end.” It apparently prohibits family members from contacting the fighters and prohibits them from opening the coffin and identifying them when they are killed. She claimed to have been informed of the death of her boyfriend on 26 September by “sources” in Syria, but has not still received his body. Although she knows that Rostov Airport received 12 coffins on the 28 September and that they were met by a Wagner representative, friends and relatives were not informed of anything officially.

    The last letter the fighter’s family received was on 13 September, in which he wrote, “I am still alive, but we cannot leave. Everything around us is mined.”

    Responding to the question of why fighters would join a mercenary unit to fight in Syria, she said, “President Putin has declared that the minimum cost of living for Rostov is 33,000 Rubles; I am a state employee and I make 13,000 Rubles. How can I live on this?” It is, she concluded, only natural for these men to want to make more money.
    Relatives admit existence of Russia’s ‘Wagner mercenary army’ in Syria
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