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December 06, 2022

Recently, the name of the city of Bakhmut has been heard very often from the news channels, the military calls the Bakhmut direction the hottest on the entire front line, many are wondering whether we will be able to hold the city?

In order to understand this issue, it is necessary to understand what forces the enemy threw at the capture of this city.

The offensive in the Bakhmut direction is being carried out by the 3rd Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 1st AK of the DPR, as well as mobs from the Russian Federation, but the greatest danger there is carried by the “Wagner” PVK.

Wagner’s chevron

In order to understand the number of Wagnerites, we decided to first trace their combat path on the territory of Ukraine

Wagner in Ukraine

In the first months of the invasion, the “Wagner” PEC did not take part, instead, another large mercenary group – the “Redut” PEC took part in hostilities, both companies are directly related to the GRU of the Russian Federation, because of this you can often find inaccuracies and confusion. Some Wagnerites did indeed take part in hostilities at the beginning of the invasion in the Kyiv region, but these are individual fighters who signed a contract with the Russian Armed Forces and acted as part of them.

For the first time, the “Wagner” PMK of the Russian Armed Forces wanted to use it at the end of March due to difficulties in the Kyiv direction, but 1,000 soldiers never reached the front then. In April, a certain number of military personnel began to return from overseas trips. For the first time, Wagner as a whole PKV participated in the storming of Mariupol, the units that were thrown to capture the city suffered serious losses (60 fighters of the 200s and 300s). After that, the mercenaries concentrated on combat operations in the Luhansk region, in particular, the capture of Popasnaya, which was the first “success” of the mercenaries and where they suffered such huge losses for the first time – more than 100 fighters died. After the capture of Popasnaya, Severodonetsk, and Lysychansk,

Wagner training

Base Wagner, Molkino.

Since the middle of 2015, the Wagner PMKs have been stationed at military base 51532 of the 10th separate special brigade of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Which immediately indicates to us the full involvement of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in “PVK”. Officers of the same 10th SPGUG brigade were engaged in the training of soldiers, the training of soldiers lasted 6-8 months. When entering the territory of the base, all gadgets were taken from recruits and checked against databases, then there was a polygraph check, after which the soldier was already allowed to train.

How many soldiers are in Wagner?

There is no information on how many fighters there were as of 2022, but we will try to calculate:

As of 2018, there were 2,000 soldiers in Syria

A certain contingent was in Libya – according to the UN, 1,200 soldiers fought there since 2018

From 400 to 800 soldiers were in the CAR

Wagner’s bases are also located in: Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola, Congo – the total contingent there numbered about 1,000 soldiers.

Even more than a thousand fighters were always at the base in Russia (more on that later)

In total, there are about 5,000 fighters, this data can be confirmed by a study by the SBU, which also believes that at the end of 2018, Wagner had 5,000 fighters. By 2022, the group probably increased by 500-1,000 people, because in 2020 the PMC began expanding its range of trips, including to Africa, and a certain number of soldiers were sent to EU countries, including Ukraine, to conduct intelligence activities.

The structure of the PVC 2016 year

Since the beginning of its existence (since 2013), about 10,000 people have signed at least one contract with Wagner, after the start of a full-scale invasion, all people who left the group began to receive letters with offers to sign the contract again , thus it was possible to recruit up to 1,000 more fighters, another 500 from civilian recruitment. That is, as of 2022, up to 7,500 elite soldiers were stationed in Wagner. Among the elite Wagnerians, losses as of October amounted to 1,000 people and about 1,000 of those who were maimed, also a certain contingent remained in Syria and Africa, about 500 people, it turns out that from 4 to 7 thousand soldiers took part in the invasion. The current Wagner structure is divided into battalions.

Due to heavy losses, the Wagner PEC, or rather a separate unit of the Russian Armed Forces, was forced to open its ranks to absolutely everyone, including prisoners. However, in order to separate the “meat” from the veterans, a new PEC “League” was created, most of the 5 thousand soldiers entered there. Wagner was already being recruited by the whole “rabble”.

About prisoners 

After signing the contract with the Communist Party of Ukraine, the prisoners receive amnesty, after that they are transported by airplanes (Il-76) to a military base (Krasnodar, Rostov…), where they undergo training (2 weeks), after which they are divided into groups of 50 people and delivered to Luhansk-Donetsk, where they receive weapons. For example, in Luhansk in the “Druzhba” camp. In this way, 15,000 prisoners were mobilized, including 700 dead.

Wagner’s role in Russia

The majority of journalists write that the PMC operates illegally and is not legally registered, and in general, according to Article 359 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, employment is prohibited in the Russian Federation. However, in 2016, an amendment was adopted that allows the use of private military companies to participate in military conflicts outside of Russia in order to stop “terrorist activities”, that is, it actually legalizes mercenaries, ie the Wagner PMC is one of the regular units of the Russian Armed Forces.


PMC “Wagner” began to recruit prisoners in occupied Donetsk region.

The Russian private military company “Wagner” recruits Ukrainian prisoners in the occupied territories and agitates them to fight against the Armed Forces.

This was reported by the Center of National Resistance.

“In particular, we are talking about the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk region. The local Gauleiter gave their consent to the start of recruitment by a special decision,” the message says.

The Central Committee notes that “Wagner” PMC is already engaged in recruiting prisoners of Ukrainian prisons in the temporarily occupied territories.

“Therefore, now the terrorist organization will look for “live power” in Ukrainian prisons,” explained the Center of National Resistance.

It is noted that the prisoners are sent to the front line without preparation, where they are thrown into battle before the start of the assault as “cannon fodder


About Post Author

Treadstone 71

@Treadstone71LLC Cyber intelligence, counterintelligence, Influence Operations, Cyber Operations, OSINT, Clandestine Cyber HUMINT, cyber intel and OSINT training and analysis, cyber psyops, strategic intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence collection, analytic writing, structured analytic techniques, Target Adversary Research, cyber counterintelligence, strategic intelligence analysis, estimative intelligence, forecasting intelligence, warning intelligence, threat intelligence
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By Treadstone 71

@Treadstone71LLC Cyber intelligence, counterintelligence, Influence Operations, Cyber Operations, OSINT, Clandestine Cyber HUMINT, cyber intel and OSINT training and analysis, cyber psyops, strategic intelligence, Open-Source Intelligence collection, analytic writing, structured analytic techniques, Target Adversary Research, cyber counterintelligence, strategic intelligence analysis, estimative intelligence, forecasting intelligence, warning intelligence, threat intelligence