The Wagner Group: The Power of Russia's Mysterious Mercenaries
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the Russian army, with the assistance of the Wagner Group, has successfully captured Soledar, and the next goal is the full recovery of Bakhmut. The news sparked widespread attention in the Western military media, as the Wagner mercenaries became Putin's secret weapon in the hands of their unique way of fighting, making opponents daunting. So, what is so remarkable about the Wagner Group that it has been recognized by the Russian Ministry of Defense, and why is it so worrying the West?
Mysterious Existence and Identity The existence of the Wagner Group is a mystery. Globally, there is not a single registered company called Wagner, so Wagner is just a code name for this group of Russian mercenaries. Their office location, organizational structure, staff size and financial status are not available to the outside world. This mystery is the number one reason why the Wagner Group attracts Putin's trust.
Reducing Russian casualties Russia, like any other modern country, cannot afford significant human losses. Therefore, the presence of the Wagner Group is all the more important, since their battle losses will not be counted in the Russian army death data, and will not even appear in public sources. This reduced the casualties of the Russian army to a certain extent, allowing the country to maintain relatively low losses in the conflict.
Cost-effectiveness According to open data, the Wagner Group has about 8,000 permanent employees, each with a monthly salary of about 240,000 rubles, plus performance bonuses, which can range from 150,000 to 700,000 rubles, depending on the type and difficulty of the task. In addition, in the event of an unfortunate death, the family of each Wagner mercenary will receive a one-time pension of 1 million rubles.
These expenditures of the Wagner Group are relatively low relative to Russia's multimillion-sized regular army. However, they are capable of performing the most difficult and dangerous tasks, so from the military's point of view, this is a very worthwhile investment.
Unparalleled combat capability The combat effectiveness of the Wagner Group is its biggest selling point and the main reason why Putin and the Russian military support their existence. Members of the group originated from the Russian GRU special forces, the 2nd Separate Brigade of the 700th Separate Brigade under the Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff. According to rumors, under Putin's arrangement, this unit was discharged as a whole and then participated in dozens of local wars as part of the Wagner military group.
In the battle for Soledar, Wagner's leader, Prigozhin, used a unique set of combat algorithms. He put a $200,000 tag on the target building and gave it to a squad of 18 Wagner commandos who asked them to clear the forty enemy troops inside and occupy the building within seven hours. If they complete the mission within the allotted time, they will receive an additional $40,000 bonus, but will be fined $20,000 for each team member killed.
The assault team leader divided the 18 members into several combat units, including 6 assaults, 6 snipers, 2 combat engineers, 2 drone scouts, and 2 fire support hands. In a recent battle, in this way, the Wagner Group took a building occupied by enemy troops in a very short period of time, eliminating more than 40 enemy troops. The Wagner assault team paid the price of one member killed and two seriously wounded, but received a prize of $240,000, almost equivalent to the income of an average Russian family for twenty years.
New mode of operation Military experts believe that the tacit cooperation between the Russian army and Wagner mercenaries has shown a new model to the global army. With the strong fire support and abundant intelligence of the regular army, the combat capability of the elite squad in the urban environment far exceeds that of the regular army. Their flexibility and adaptability to the battlefield are also far superior to those of the average soldier. This new model is worth learning from the country's rising defense companies.
Conclusion The Wagner Group, as a representative of Russia's mysterious mercenaries, plays an irreplaceable role in international conflicts with its unique advantages. Their presence is not only able to reduce casualties among the Russian army, but is also cost-effective and has unparalleled combat effectiveness. The Wagner Group's fighting style and coordinated operation mode with the Russian army have had a significant impact on the global military landscape and have also provided valuable lessons for domestic defense companies. The existence and role of this mysterious mercenary group will continue to be of interest in future military conflicts.
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