NAVY SEALS

Russian Turns to Mercenaries, Foreign Fighters in Ukraine

todayMarch 17, 2022

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  • Russian forces invading Ukraine have struggled to beat their logistical challenges and stiff Ukrainian resistance.
  • Moscow now faces the prospect of onerous preventing in opposition to decided defenders in main Ukrainian cities.
  • Within the face of these obstacles, Russia seems to be shifting towards use of extra international fighters and mercenaries.

Greater than three weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin and his senior advisors perceive that issues aren’t going as deliberate.

What was meant to be a fast “in-and-out” marketing campaign to seize Kyiv and different cities and topple the Ukrainian authorities has develop into a protracted, bloody battle that could be the worst Russian navy catastrophe in a long time.

A navy adage is that no plan, nonetheless polished, survives first contact with the enemy. In battle, the opponent will get a vote too, and even one of the best plans have to be versatile.

“I believe by now everybody has seen that the battle is not going effectively for the Russians. They deliberate for a brief marketing campaign and some days of operations however now they’re going through a standard battle they weren’t ready for, and there may be worse to come back,” a retired Inexperienced Beret instructed Insider.

Chechen soldiers military exercise

Chechen troopers representing Russia compete in a navy competitors in Amman, Jordan, April 20, 2015.

REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed


Russia seems to have had poor intelligence about Ukrainian navy capabilities and underestimated Ukraine’s willingness to combat. The Russian advance has slowed to a crawl, and Moscow is now utilizing heavy firepower to bombard Ukrainian cities.

The retired Inexperienced Beret, who has in depth expertise in Europe however was not licensed to talk to the media, instructed Insider that the US Military’s tenth Particular Forces Group has educated Ukrainian troops effectively and that they are “ready for a guerrilla section.”

“So even when the Russians succeed within the typical section of the battle, they’ve hell ready for them. I do not suppose the Russian inhabitants is prepared for that. Even an authoritarian regime like Putin’s cannot climate 1000’s of physique luggage,” the retired Inexperienced Beret added.

With casualties and prices mounting, and with onerous preventing in Ukrainian cities forward of them, the Kremlin is popping to different sources of manpower: Chechen fighters, non-public navy contractors from the notorious Wagner Group, and Syrian mercenaries.

Mercenaries and international fighters

russia syria

Syrian and Russian troopers at a checkpoint in Damascus, Syria, March 2, 2018.

Omar Sanadiki/Reuters


The Russian battle plan centered on pace, violence, and shock, utilizing a mix of special-operations forces, airborne troops, long-range fires, and a number of armored fronts throughout Ukraine to disorient and paralyze the Ukrainian navy.

Chechen fighters and Wagner Group mercenaries seem to have been an integral a part of that plan, with Moscow utilizing them as shock troops to decapitate Ukraine’s management on the outset of the battle.

Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin acolyte and head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, mentioned two days after the invasion that Chechen forces have been in Ukraine and have been prepared to hold out Putin’s orders “below any circumstances.” Russia is already selling stereotypes of Chechen brutality in its propaganda.

The Wagner Group is bankrolled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an in depth Putin affiliate, and infrequently pursues Russian foreign-policy targets regardless of its nominal independence. It has earned notoriety for its usually brutal actions in Crimea, jap Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and central Africa.

Experiences point out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has survived a number of assassination makes an attempt by Chechens and Wagner mercenaries. Had they killed Zelenskyy and his Cupboard within the important opening stage of the battle, Ukraine’s navy might need conceded defeat.

Wagner Group IED bomb Tripoli Libya

An improvised explosive machine present in Tripoli. US Africa Command mentioned Russia’s Wagner Group launched these weapons to Libya.

US Africa Command


Russian Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu has mentioned greater than 16,000 Arab volunteers are lining as much as combat for Russia in Ukraine, and Russia’s Ministry of Protection has launched footage of Syrian mercenaries able to deploy to Ukraine to assist the invasion.

The Kremlin has reportedly managed to recruit roughly 3,000 Syrian fighters to date, and the highest US navy official within the Center East mentioned Tuesday that solely “very small” teams of individuals from that area are attempting to make their approach there. A senior protection official mentioned Wednesday that the US had not seen indications that international fighters are in Ukraine proper now.

Russia has justified the deployment of pro-Assad Syrian mercenaries as a response to the international fighters which can be flocking from around the globe to combat on Ukraine’s behalf.

As Moscow shifts to fight in main Ukrainian cities, the international troops it brings in may put years of urban-warfare expertise to make use of, although specialists say they might battle within the unfamiliar surroundings.

Overseas mercenaries are low cost and include little political threat for Moscow, the retired Inexperienced Beret mentioned. “No Russian will care if younger Syrians die in Ukraine preventing for Putin. I think some will even be joyful to be taught that Chechens are dying there and see it as a ‘win-win’ state of affairs.”

ukrainian soldiers

Ukrainian troops with a bloody stretcher close to Irpin, March 13, 2022.

Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP by way of Getty Photos


However the retired operator mentioned these international fighters might not fare higher than the Russians have in Ukraine: “It is one factor to combat within the heat local weather of Syria and one other within the freezing Ukraine with mud so thick that it could actually cease a column of essentially the most fashionable tanks.”

Chechen and Syrian fighters are straightforward to search out, do not price a lot, and do not require the identical quantity of assets as common troops, a former Navy SEAL officer instructed Insider, calling Russia’s flip to them and different mercenaries “an indication of desperation.”

The previous SEAL, granted anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk to the media, additionally pointed to a political motive.

“Putin must account for the deaths of Russian troopers. We now have seen from stories that not all Russians in Ukraine are skilled troopers. Giant numbers of conscripts have been captured too (and extra presumably killed). That’s opposite to what Putin has mentioned on Russian nationwide tv,” a former officer mentioned.

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a protection journalist specializing in particular operations, a Hellenic Military veteran (nationwide service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Military HQ), and a Johns Hopkins College graduate.





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Written by: soft fm radio staff

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