In this article, Molfar's OSINT community investigated 37 Russian PMCs, established information about these companies, researched their sources of funding and type of subordination. The main conclusion of the investigation is that all Russian private military companies are linked to the Kremlin.

Each of the investigated PMCs poses a direct threat to Ukraine's national security.

Scheme of connections of Russian PMCs: all companies are directly or indirectly connected to the Kremlin

Scheme of connections of Russian PMCs: all companies are directly or indirectly connected to the Kremlin

From the Russian law's perspective, the creation and management of PMCs is an illegal activity. However, since all PMCs are subordinate to the Kremlin in one way or another, the members of these organizations are not arrested or subjected to trials. With a few exceptions: if a PMC leader falls out of favor with the Kremlin, he or she can be arrested and sent to prison along with the members of the organization in accordance with the current laws of the Russian Federation.

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The spread of Russian PMCs around the world.

The spread of Russian PMCs around the world.

Locations of Russian PMC operations

 

34 countries of the world as of March 2023, where militants of Russian PMCs were present.

34 countries of the world as of March 2023, where militants of Russian PMCs were present.

According to a January 2023 article by Slovo i Dilo (Word & Deed), until 2014, Russian PMCs operated in a maximum of 2-3 countries, and since 2020, the number has increased to 30 countries.

There are 37 PMCs out of the found ones:

      probably 27% (10) are closed;

      73% (27) opened after 2014;

      30% (11) were created after February 2022.

Years of foundation of Russian private military companies.

Years of foundation of Russian private military companies.

As of March 2023, 37 Russian PMCs were present in 34 countries throughout their history. Top countries by the number of PMCs present:

      67% (25) in Ukraine from 2014 to the present;

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      32% (12) in Syria since 2011;

      14% (5) in Iraq, mainly during the Iraq War (2003-2011);

      8% (3) in the Central African Republic and Nigeria. 

By continent, PMCs were present in:

      19 countries in Africa;

      10 countries in Asia and the Middle East;

      4 countries in Europe;

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      1 country in South America.

Number of countries in which the researched Russian private military companies operate.

Number of countries in which the researched Russian private military companies operate.

By the number of countries where PMCs were present:

      Wagner – in 18 countries;

      Patriot – 7 countries;

      E.N.O.T. – 6 countries;

      Redoubt, MAR, Yastreb, Anti-Terror-Eagle, Moran Security Service in 5 countries each;

      other PMCs were present in less than 3 countries.

Financing and management

Types of financing and subordination of Russian PMCs.

Types of financing and subordination of Russian PMCs.

Probably among the 37 found PMCs:

      16% (6) are/were financed by businessmen, including well-known ones such as Yevgeny Prigozhin, Gennady Timchenko, Oleg Deripaska, and Sergey Isakov;

      67% (25) have ties with Russian state institutions (Ministry of Defense, FSB, government, ROC) through funding and management subordination.

      another 17% (6) have mixed types of funding, both public-private or from multiple private donors.

Reasons for the creation of PMCs in the Russian Federation

  1. According to the Russian resource kapital-rus.ru, PMCs are created to wage hybrid wars without direct state involvement, thus not provoking open aggression. This is done in order not to provoke international conflicts, but to carry out certain combat operations in different parts of the world, circumventing the UN Charter and possible sanctions. According to an article by the Russian media outlet paperpaper.io, where a former member of one of the PMCs commented that "most of Russia's PMCs were created to participate in the conflict in Ukraine."
  2. Businessmen can finance the maintenance of fighters, which in the long run reduces the impact on the country's budget.
  3. PMC fighters are cheaper to maintain than regular troops.
  4. PMCs are mobile groups, so they can deploy faster.
  5. The use of PMCs means a reduction in official losses.
  6. People join PMCs voluntarily, so the state is not responsible to the families of the victims.
  7. In the example of the Russian-Ukrainian war, PMCs provide very short training for fighters and often use them as "cannon fodder" – they are sent to storm the fortified positions without training and support from aviation and artillery. The main goal is to exhaust the opposite fighters before the main body of regular troops attacks.
  8. The PMCs, which are carefully selected and trained, are staffed mainly by fighters with combat experience and former military personnel, which allows them to carry out more complex missions.
  9. It is likely that influential people in Russia want to protect themselves, their wealth and territories in the event of a collapse or coup in Russia.
  10. PMCs have become a symbol of political power, so everyone follows the trend and thus promotes themselves.
  11. PMCs are used to control mineral resources (oil towers, gold mines) in 19 African countries.
  12. According to the article, Putin probably intends to strengthen his power with the help of PMCs and avoid in such way a "palace coup."
  13. According to an article by liga.net on 30.03.2023, according to the representative of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, Andriy Chernyak, Russians are creating PMCs to protect the loot.

'Wagner'

Year of foundation: unofficially ~2013, officially – 2014.

PMC status: Active 🟢

The number of fighters: 40-50 thousand (according to UK and US intelligence).

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Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria, Central African Republic, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Mozambique, Congo, Mali, Belarus, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Venezuela, Nigeria, Madagascar, Botswana, Comoros, Rwanda, Lesotho.

In 2017, the PMC was included (1, 2) in the US sanctions list, and in 2021 – in the EU.

In September 2022, Prigozhin's letter was published, in which he confirmed that he founded the Wagner PMC and also stated that he tried not to publicize his connection with Wagner in order "not to compromise any of the group members."

In October 2022, Prigozhin confirmed the establishment of the PMC Wagner Center in St. Petersburg (Wagner Center was registered on 12.2022 with the specialization – consulting on commercial activities, created to "increase the defense capabilities of the Russian Federation" and the opening of the center in November 2022.

Negativity associated with PMC Wagner

      The Wagner PMC units killed journalists in the Central African Republic and hundreds of civilians in Mali, tortured and killed civilians in Syria.

      They were involved (1, 2, 3) in the downing of the IL-76, the storming of the Luhansk airport and the fighting in the Debaltseve area.

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      The official head of the Wagner PMC, Dmitry Utkin, – Nazi (1, 2), fan of the Third Reich.

Wagner PMC's presence in Ukraine

      Since 2014, the group has been operating in Ukraine.

      According to the Times, in February 2022, they entered the Kyiv region through Belarus. According to German intelligence, they were involved in the Bucha massacre.

      They are present (1, 2) in the Donetsk and Luhansk directions at Ukraine's battlefield.

A Wagner advertisement.

A Wagner advertisement.

Financing of the Wagner PMC

Yevgeny Prigozhin (12) – Putin's friend, entrepreneur, head of the Concord group of companies, founder of the Wagner PMC. From 1981 to 1990, he was imprisoned for theft, robbery, fraud, and involvement of a minor in criminal activity. He is under sanctions from the EU, the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

❗️ We have previously conducted an in-depth investigation into the leader of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and you can read more about his life and military activities here 👉 Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Leaders of the Wagner PMC

  1. Dmytro Valeriyovych Utkin (call sign "Wagner") is a reserve lieutenant colonel and head of a PMC. Until 2013, he worked for the Moran Security Group PMC and participated in the Syrian expedition of the Slavic Corps PMC. Since 2017, he has been the CEO of the management company of Prigozhin's structures, Concord Management and Consulting;
  2. Andrey Troshev – retired colonel, PMC commander. He worked in the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. He is under EU and UK sanctions.
  3. According to the media (123), the group is managed by the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

DShRG Rusich

Year of foundation: 2009 according to Milchakov, 2014 according to the media.

PMC status: Active 🟢

The number of fighters: According to Milchakov, there were several dozen fighters in 2020.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria, CAR.

“Rusich” has ties to the Wagner PMC: Milchakov and Petrovsky were mercenaries in Wagner.

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❗️ We have previously investigated a group called the DShRG Rusich, and you can find all the details and evidence of Rusich's ties to Yevgeny Prigozhin and Wagner PMC here 👉 DShRG Rusich.

Negativity associated with the Rusich DShRG

      Rusich, a neo-Nazi pro-Kremlin PMC operating in Ukraine and linked to Wagner's mercenaries, openly calls for atrocities and torture of prisoners.

      Milchakov is a fascist and a sadist who is on the EU sanctions list;

      Petrovskywas a member of a pagan group, neo-Nazi;

      Rasskazov – gets sexual excitement from killing Ukrainians.

The presence of DShRG 'Rusich' in Ukraine

      In 2014, they took part in the attack on the Donetsk airport, destroyed the column of the Aidar battalion in Luhansk region. In 2015, they took part in the battles near Volnovakha, the villages of Bilokamyanka and Novolaspa.

      In 2022, they fought (1, 2) in the Kharkiv and Luhansk regions.

      In January 2023, "Rusich" began to recruit people in Crimea, probably for the defense of Crimea.

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Financing of 'Rusich' DShRG

DSHRG "Rusich" is related to PMC "Wagner":

      the media indicate their possible relationship;

      in 2017, Milchakov and Rusich joined Wagner;

      in December 2022, there was a collaboration between the online channels "Rusich" and "Wagner";

      in the comments to the post of Milchakov's friend, Liza Isaeva, they talk about the connection between the Rusich DShRG and Prigozhin.

 

In 2017, Rusich trained the Unarmy at sites belonging to the Russian Ministry of Defense. It is likely that the training by Rusich representatives was financed from the state budget.

Leaders of the 'Rusich' DShRG

  1. Milchakov Oleksiy Yuriyovych is a PMC commander. He was a member of the nationalist movement, in 2007 he joined the extremist group against illegal migration "DPNI". In 2009, he founded the Rusich training unit, and in 2014, they fought in the ATO zone. Since 2015, he has been under EU and US sanctions. In 2017, as part of the Wagner PMC, he fought in Syria. In 2022, he was wounded near Kharkiv;
  2. Petrovskyi Ian Ihorovych / Torden Voyslav Ihorovych – commander, deputy of Milchakov (after Milchakov was wounded near Kharkiv, he took over the command). From 2004 to 2016, he lived in Norway and was deported for extremist activities. Since 2022, he has been under sanctions from the US, EU, Switzerland, Japan, and New Zealand;
  3. Rasskazov Yevhen Eduardovych – a commander who publishes photos of killed Ukrainians in his TG. Until 2022, he was a reporter for Tsarskoye Television. Since 2022, he has been under sanctions from the US, EU, Switzerland, Japan, and New Zealand.

Russian Imperial Movement: a paramilitary unit of the Russian Imperial Legion organization

Year of foundation: 2002.

PMC status: Active 🟢

The number of fighters: Several hundred.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria, Libya.

 

Page on Wikipedia. They have two training camps in St. Petersburg. It is likely that the organization is linked to the Kremlin and is supervised by Russian special services.

 

The neo-Nazi movement, which the United States and Canada have recognized as a terrorist organization and the EU has added to its sanctions list.

The presence of the Russian Imperial Movement in Ukraine

In 2014, they began training and sending fighters to Donbas. According to the article, German intelligence identified the presence of the Russian Imperial Movement during Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Leaders of the 'Russian Imperial Movement' unit

  1. Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyov is the head of the movement and editor-in-chief of the Imperial Courier magazine. He worked in the prosecutor's office and later as a lawyer. Since 2022, he has been under sanctions from the EU, Switzerland, and Japan;
  2. Denis Valiullovich Gariev – head of the paramilitary wing of the Russian Imperial Legion, engaged in recruitment, fought in Donbas. He is a businessman. He is on the Myrotvorets database. Since 2022, he has been under EU and Swiss sanctions;
  3. Trushchalov Mykola Mykolayovychcoordinator of external relations of the movement. Born in the Rostov region in the family of a military officer, he spent his childhood in Luhansk.

Sewa Security Service, probably the Wagner unit

Year of foundation: 2017.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Locations of operations: CAR.

 

Sewa Security Service is associated with a former employee of the Russian Interior Ministry, Evgeny Khodotov, who ran the M-Finance company associated with Prigozhin. Sewa Security Service was engaged in the protection of the President of the Central African Republic. In 2017, a legal entity Sewa Security Services was registered in the CAR, now it is under EU sanctions.

Leader of the Sewa Security Service

Evgeny Garrievich Khodotov – until 2008, he worked at the St. Petersburg Regional Department for Combating Organized Crime. He worked as the CEO of Prigozhin's company M-Finance LLC and in 2018 as the director of Prigozhin's company Lobaye Invest, which operates in the Central African Republic. Khodotov was featured in The Insider's investigation into the deaths of Russian journalists in the Central African Republic in 2018. He is under Ukrainian sanctions.

'RSB Group' ('RSB Group LLC')

Year of foundation: 2005 – registration of a legal entity.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Probably the FSB of the Russian Federation.

The number of fighters: From 500 to several thousand, depending on the operations.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Libya, Gulf of Aden, Strait of Malacca, Gulf of Guinea.

 

They have offices in the EU and Africa. They train soldiers for the war in Ukraine. Not only that, but they are engaged in ship security and military consulting. The PMC is linked to the Russian special services and trains special forces for Russia. Since February 2022, the RSB Group has been under sanctions from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine.

Leaders of the RSB Group

Oleg Anatolyevich Krynytsyngraduated from the KGB school, worked in intelligence and was the head of the Security Service. Since 2022, he has been under US and Ukrainian sanctions.

Redoubt / Redoubt Antiterror / Center Redoubt / Center R (formerly Wolves)

Year of foundation: 2018.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Russian Ministry of Defense, sanctioned billionaires Gennady Timchenko and Oleg Deripaska.

The number of fighters: As of August 2022, there were 100 to 400 fighters.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Georgia, Somalia.

 

Since February 2022, they have been fighting in the Kharkiv, Luhansk, and Donetsk directions, and were in the Kyiv region. In July 2022, they were near Izyum (Kharkiv region) and Krasnopillia (Donetsk region), in August 2022 – Svatovo (Luhansk region) and Lyman (Donetsk region). According to the article, before the invasion of Ukraine, they were exclusively engaged in the protection of facilities abroad. They recruit prisoners. PMC is subordinated to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Moran Security Group

Year of foundation: 2018 registration of the Georgian legal entity Moran Security Group LLC.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Ministry of Defense of Russia.

Locations of operations: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria.

 

A St. Petersburg-based company with its own training center, specializing in ship protection. It consists of “Cossack” units. According to the article, in 2013 Moran Security founded the Slavic Corps PMC.

 

Leaders of Moran Security Group

  1. Charquiani Levane is the head of a legal entity. Born in Russia, in 2013 he was arrested on suspicion of spying against Russia. Charquiani pleaded guilty and was released. In the Luhansk region of Ukraine, he was engaged in recruiting and building a spy network for Russia. In 2017, he moved to Georgia, where he immediately received citizenship with the right to vote. Official agencies in Georgia did not comment on the information about the PMC legal entity on their territory.
  2. Oleksiy Badikov – CEO. In 2013, he claimed falsely that the Hong Kong-based Slavonic Corps Limited was not related to his company and that Moran Security did not carry out any activities in Syria.
  3. Before 2013, Dmitry Utkin (call sign "Wagner") worked for Moran Security.

Е.Н.О.Т. ('Raccoon' abbreviation in Russian)

Year of foundation: 2011 – founding, according to the media; 2016 – registration of the legal entity Е.Н.О.Т.; 2019 – due to court cases, the PMC was dissolved, part of the team was arrested; 03.2022 – removal of the legal entity from the register.

PMC status: Probably closed 🟡🔴

Financing: FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Syria, and Tajikistan.

 

After Reimer (Mangushev) left the PMC in 2016, the organization was unable to find sufficient funding. In 2016, Telenkevych and 5 other co-founders registered a legal entity, the "Е.Н.О.Т." NGO. In 2019, legal proceedings began against the PMC, and Telenkevych dissolved it. In March 2022, Telenkevych was imprisoned for 13 years, and the legal entity Е.Н.О.Т. was removed from the register.

 

The presence of Е.Н.О.Т. in Ukraine 

According to Reimer (Mangushev), in 2014 he went to Maidan, and the ENOT PMC participated in clashes with the “golden eagle forces” in Crimea, were in Sloviansk, and then escorted humanitarian supplies to Donbas and Luhansk. They fought near Debaltseve.

Leaders of Е.Н.О.Т.

  1. Reimer (Mangushev) Ihor (call sign "Bereg") – founder and commander until 2016. In February 2023, he was killed in Ukraine;
  2. Roman Telenkevych is a commander. In March 2022, he was imprisoned in Russia for 13 years for organizing a PMC.

Negativity associated with Е.Н.О.Т.

Reimer (Mangushev) Igor nationalist, was the leader of the "Svetlaya Rus" movement, which organized raids on emigrants. In 2016, he left the PMC. In September 2022, he brought a skull to the stage and claimed that it was the skull of an Azovstal defender. He claimed that it was his idea to use the "Z" symbol on social media. He called for the destruction of all those who consider themselves Ukrainians. Nationalist slogans and articles were published on the PMC's website.

PMC 'Shield'

Year of foundation: 2018, first mention in the media.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Probably the Russian Defense Ministry.

The number of fighters: for 2019, from 125 to 150 people.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria.

 

In January 2023, they started recruiting people in Crimea, probably to protect Crimea. In 2018, in Syria, the Shield PMC guarded Stroytransgaz facilities owned by Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko.

 

Yastreb (PMC Yastreb LLC)

Year of foundation: 2014 according to the website, 2018 registration of the legal entity.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Probably, the funding comes from the state.

The number of fighters: 150.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Venezuela.

 

The website states that they are engaged in facility security, cargo escort, negotiations, personal protection, and event security. The regions of operation are Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Venezuela. The group is said to consist of 150 people, and the video shows their training with weapons. PMC Yastreb LLC is registered in St. Petersburg. From 2017 to 2018, Marushchenko and Antonov were co-founders of the legal entity PMC Polite People LLC, which was closed in 2020.

 

The website says that they carried out missions in Ukraine (1, 2) to evacuate refugees, deliver humanitarian supplies, and restore gas supply in the Kharkiv region.

 

The partners listed on the website include: The Bank of the President of the Russian Federation, the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, the Administration of Primorsky Krai, the Administration of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Alfa-Bank, Aeroflot, and VTB Bank.

Leaders of the Yastreb PMC

  1. Marushchenko Oleksiy Ivanovych is the owner of the legal entity. In 2014, he fought in the ATO zone, founded the Mar PMC (closed), the Good People PMC (closed), and the Yastreb PMC (active). In 2022, he was spotted in the Kharkiv region – while delivering humanitarian aid, Marushchenko was arrested by so-called LPR fighters on suspicion of illegal arms trafficking.
  2. Dmytro Antonov is a director.

 

PMC 'Patriot'

Year of foundation: 2018 – first mention in the media.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Patriot PMC is linked to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Central African Republic, Burundi, Sudan, Gabon.

 

In 2018, they were reportedly engaged in the protection of "top officials". They were spotted near Bakhmut and Vuhledar.

 

Leaders of the Patriot PMC

Shoigu Sergey Kuzugetovich – Minister of "Defense" of the Russian Federation since 2012, member of the Bureau of the Supreme Council of the United Russia Party. Since 2015, he has been under sanctions from the EU, the US, the UK, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

 

Special Forces 'Storm'

Year of foundation: 2022.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

The number of fighters: It is noted that this is a battalion, meaning that the number of fighters is 250 – 1000 people.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

The Storm special forces are being formed by the Russian Defense Ministry. In October 2022, they started recruiting prisoners to be sent to Ukraine, probably to the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

 

PMC Tsarskie Volki (Tsar's Wolves)

Year of foundation: 1992, according to Rogozin's statement, 2022, the first mention in the media.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

The number of fighters: probably up to 100 people.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

The Tsarskie Volki PMC develops and tests new weapons. It consists of military experts and advisors. Rogozin took part in the Transnistrian and Bosnian conflicts, so he mentions the year of the PMC's creation as 1992. They participate in operations with the LPR and DPR corps.

 

Leaders of the PMC Tsarskie Volki (Tsar's Wolves)

Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin – from 2011 to 2018, he was Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Former head of Roscosmos (2018 – 06.2022), heads the Tsarskie Volki scientific and technical center. Since 2015, he has been under sanctions from the EU, the US, the UK, Canada, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Rogozin's developments are probably funded by the Russian government.

 

According to the article, the Tsarskie Volki strike force is led by commander Python (name withheld), while Dmitry Rogozin (call sign Sarmat) oversees the Russian Volunteer Strike Brigade and the Tsarskie Volki WTC.

 

Dmytro Rogozin was wounded in December 2022 during a shelling in the Donetsk region. He returned to the contact line in January 2023 to test new UAVs against Abrams tanks. In February 2023, Rogozin was in a PMC "lair" in the Zaporizhzhia sector.

Gazprom PMC (Staff Alliance)

Year of foundation: 2023.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: PJSC Gazprom Oil.

The number of fighters: As of March 2023, they are just starting to enroll.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

In February 2023, the Gazprom Group announced the creation of its own PMC to protect oil facilities and participate in the war in Ukraine. According to the article, the founders of the new PMC will be PJSC Gazprom Oil (70%) and NGO Staff Center (30%).

 

The Staff-Alliance group of security companies has been operating in Russia since 1992. The co-founders are former KGB officers Kuratov Andrey, businessman Chirikin Vladimir, Timofeev Andrey and Gavrilov Andrey, who studied at the Moscow KGB Institute.

 

Leaders of Gazprom PMC (Staff Alliance)

  1. Mikhail Fedorovich Timofeev has been a co-founder of the Staf-Alliance group of security companies since 1993. From 1984 to 1993, he served in the Russian Security Service and was engaged in intelligence, from 1989 to 1991, he studied at the KGB Institute.
  2. Gavrilov Andrey Alexandrovich is a co-founder of the Staff Alliance security group. From 1982 to 1991, he worked in the Russian Security Service, and in 1988 studied at the KGB Institute;
  3. Kuratov Andrey Vladimirovich – co-founder of the Staff Alliance security group since 1996. From 1986 to 1996, he worked in the Russian Security Service, and from 1989 to 1991, he studied at the KGB Institute;
  4. Vladimir Anatolyevich Chirikin – co-founder of the Staff Alliance security group since 2000. He is a former businessman.

 

PMC 'Convoy'

Year of foundation: 2023.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Probably Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The number of fighters: As of March 2023, they are just starting to enroll.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

On March 24, 2023, the governor of Crimea, Aksyonov, announced the creation of his own PMC, Convoy.

 

Leaders of the Convoy PMC

  1. Sergey Valerievich Aksyonov has been the governor of Crimea since 2014. He is known in criminal circles as "Goblin". He is on the sanctions lists of the EU, the US, the UK, Australia, Ukraine, Japan, Canada, and Switzerland;
  2. Konstantin Pikalov – Colonel, Prigozhin's "right-hand man", call sign "Mazai". He is on the Central Bank's blacklist as a suspected money launderer. Probably fought in Donbas in 2014 and in Syria.

Andreyevsky Krest PMC

Year of foundation: 2017.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Russian Orthodox Church (ROC): according to the article, the training of soldiers is carried out at the expense of donations and soldiers' own funds.

The number of fighters: They claim to be able to train 70 – 100 soldiers in three months; they say they have been training since 2017, so we can assume that they have trained about 2,000 soldiers in 5 years.

Locations of operations: The "graduates" of the training center are probably fighting in Ukraine.

 

According to the organization's director, Volodymyr Khilchenko, Andreyevsky Krest was established in 2017 as a tactical training center. They are planning to create their own volunteer battalion for the war against Ukraine.

 

Head of the Andreevsky Krest PMC 

Patriarch Kirill (Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyaev) is a Russian religious figure and KGB agent. Since 2009, he has been the Patriarch of Moscow, head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Since 2022, he has been under sanctions from Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Akhmat PMC

Year of foundation: 2022.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: According to the article, the training of the soldiers is funded by donations and the soldiers' own money.

The number of fighters: In June 2022, Kadyrov announced the creation of 4 battalions, with the total number of soldiers reaching 2000-4000. According to the article, as of September 2022, there were about 3,600 soldiers in Akhmat.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

They are part of the Rosgvardia, but report directly to Kadyrov. Four battalions were formed (North, South, West, East). They were “cleaning up” Mariupol. In September 2022, they were near Soledar, in November – Lysychansk.

 

Head of the Akhmat PMC 

Ramzan Kadyrov is the self-proclaimed head of the Chechen Republic. In February 2022, he sent Chechen troops to Ukraine. He is under sanctions from the EU, the US, the UK and other countries.

Negativity associated with the Akhmat PMC

In July 2022, a video was posted online showing Ahmat soldier Ochur-Suge Mongush castrating and executing a Ukrainian soldier.

Tiger Battalion

Year of foundation: 2022.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

The number of fighters: 500, the training takes place in Primorsky Krai.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

BARS-13 ('Russian Legion')

Year of foundation: 2022.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

The number of fighters: 500, the battalion was formed in the Rostov region.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

Fomchenkov Serhiy Oleksandrovych – battalion commander, deputy commander of BARS-13. He was the chief of artillery staff of the LPR and the commander of the 4th RSHBGS regiment of the DPR. He participated in the action in Sevastopol "Sevastopol is a Russian city!" in 1999, for which he was arrested and spent six months in a Ukrainian prison.

Veterans Special Forces Brigade

Year of foundation: 2022.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: They are subordinated to the Russian Ministry of Defense, but the soldiers sign a contract with the Veterans of Russia.

The number of fighters: 2000.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

Vasily Ivanovich Snitsyrev – manager, chairman of a legal entity. Former major general of the Federal Penitentiary Service, died in Ulyanovsk in 2019. List of people in the Veterans of Russia movement.

LLC PMC Global

Year of foundation: 2008.

PMC status: Active 🟢

 

The legal entity is registered in the Kaliningrad region, KVED classification – security activities.

Managers of PMC Global LLC

  1. Andrey Petrovich Konovalov – director;
  2. Larionov Alexander Nikolaevich – co-founder (50%);
  3. Viktor Valeriyovych Kalinichenko – co-founder (50%).

PMC 'Strazh' LLC

Year of foundation: 2014.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: From 2017 to 2020, they received 8 state contracts for the protection of state facilities in the Kaliningrad region for a total of $60 thousand.

The number of fighters: There were probably up to 10 – 20 people in 2017.

 

The legal entity is registered in Kaliningrad, with a KVED classification of security and investigation. According to a 2017 review, they were engaged in security activities "in illegal casinos, billiard rooms, restaurants, where there is constant crime and fights."

Pavel Vasilyevich Kravchenko is the director and owner. Also, since 2013, he has been the owner of the eponymous private military company Strazh, and earlier in 2011, he founded the Security Enterprise Strazh LLC in Kaliningrad.

Private Military Medical Company LLC

Year of foundation: January 2023.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Probably the Ministry of Defense of Russia, according to the director's past experience in a legal entity.

 

The company is registered in Moscow, with a KVED classification of medical institutions. It was probably created for medical units to serve Russian soldiers at the front.

Kochmin Sergey Petrovich (09.12.1979, TIN: 150205065204, passport: 9003490374) – director. Probably, in 2011, he was the head of the Financial Support Department of the Russian Ministry of Defense in the Stavropol Territory. In 2012, he was sentenced to two years in prison for attempted fraud and theft of 6.3 million rubles (~$200k) from the Defense Ministry.

PMC Tavrida LLC, probably the Tavrida battalion

Year of foundation: March 2022 according to the media, July 2022 – registration of a legal entity.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: It is subordinated to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

The number of fighters: 800.

Locations of operations: Ukraine.

 

The legal entity is registered in Simferopol, KVED classification – security activities. The Tavrida battalion is a “Cossack” military formation. They train together with the Wagner PMC. They are based in Crimea. Furthermore, they perform tasks in the Zaporizhzhia direction.

Leaders of the Tavrida battalion

  1. Anton Viktorovich Sirotkin – commander of the Tavrida and ataman of the Black Sea Cossack Army. Advisor to Aksyonov, member of the United Russia party. Traitor to Ukraine – organized pro-Russian resistance groups and mobilized supporting "Crimea's separation from Ukraine". He is in the Myrotvorets database.
  2. Yatsenko Oleksandr Oleksandrovych – director and co-owner of the legal entity;
  3. Armen Hamletovych Martoyan is a co-owner of the legal entity. Since 2015, the head of the Crimean organization "Union of Veterans of the Consolidated Regiment of the People's Militia of the Republic of Crimea". He is on the Myrotvorets database. Commander of the 4th company of the "self-defense of Crimea", fought in Donetsk.

Berkut PMC LLC

Year of foundation: February 2022.

PMC status: Active 🟢

 

The legal entity is registered in Ingushetia, KVED classification – security activities.

Dzarakhov Khamzat Magometovych (10.11.1989, passport: 9009938014, TIN: 151206974067) – since August 2022, director and owner. Previously, since February 2022, the owner was Oleksandr Subbotin (16.10.1982, passports: 4519082935, 4506849489, 2145068494, 4598709525, TAXPAYER ID: 772737877792) – according to the list-org.com service, he was the founder of more than 50 different private security companies and is the owner of 7 different private security companies. He is also the head of the Moscow-based building company LLC NW "Servisvertikal" and other construction-related companies.

VK

Year of foundation: December 2022.

PMC status: Active 🟢

The number of fighters: There are only 23 members in VK. The group description also states that the registration form will appear when there will be more than 50 members in the group.

 

The legal entity is registered in Kaluga, KVED classification – security activities.

Aleksey Gennadievich Konshin (TIN: 400200452911) is a director and founder. Since July 2019, he has been the founder and since April 2022, the head of Rostavtostroy LLC, whose activities are related to the use of computers and information technology.

ISIS Hunters (Al-Sayyad)

Year of foundation: 2017.

PMC status: Active 🟢

Financing: Syrian private security company Al-Sayyad.

The number of fighters: ~5 thousands.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria.

 

Soldiers with "ISIS Hunters" patches were spotted in Donetsk in April 2022.

Fawaz Mikhail Gerges – CEO of the Syrian private security company Al-Sayyad, established in 2017 and controlled by Wagner's group in Syria, which is engaged in the protection of Russian interests (phosphates, gas and protection of oil facilities).

Polite People PMC LLC

Year of foundation: 2015 – first mention in the media, 2017 – registration of the legal entity, 2018 – official closure, according to the founder, Oleksiy Marushchenko. Marushchenko and Antonov re-registered the company to Solodukhin; 2021 closure of the legal entity according to the register of legal entities.

PMC status: Closed 🔴

 

In 2017, Oleksiy Marushchenko, together with the MAR PMC, created another PMC, the Polite People, whose business activity was investigation. According to Marushchenko, the PMC planned to operate in the Donetsk region, but failed to reach an agreement on cooperation with the so-called DPR leadership. The "Polite People" PMC included fighters from the "Slavic Corps" PMC, who in 2015 were engaged in the disarmament of Crimean military bases.

Leaders of the PMC 'Polite People'

  1. Viacheslav Volodymyrovych Solodukhin – owner from 2018 to 2021;
  2. Marushchenko Oleksiy Ivanovych – co-owner until 2018. In 2014, he fought in the ATO zone, founded the Mar PMC (closed), the Good People PMC (closed), and the Yastreb PMC (active). In 2022, he was spotted in the Kharkiv region – while delivering humanitarian aid, Marushchenko was arrested by so-called LPR fighters on suspicion of illegal arms trafficking;
  3. Dmytro Oleksandrovych Antonov – co-owner until 2018;
  4. Artem Ihorovych Beshevets – co-owner from 2017 to 2018.

LLC 'CHOA CHVK'

Year of foundation: 2014-2021.

PMC status: Closed 🔴

Financing: In 2015-2016, they received four government orders for the protection of the BTI and the Sevastopol Water Utility for a total of $242 thousand.

Locations of operations: Ukraine. The legal entity was registered in Sevastopol, KVED classification – security activities.

 

Managers of CHOA 'CHVK' PMC LLC

  1. Alexander Stanislavovich Gradinar is a director. In 2019, he worked at the Rosgvardia's Industrial Facilities Protection Department;
  2. Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Papkov – co-founder. He is on the Myrotvorets database. Participated in the special operation to capture the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, commander of the 17th Sevastopol self-defense company, provided assistance to DPR/LPR militants;
  3. Oleh Anatoliyovych Shulga – co-founder;
  4. Kolobova Iryna Petrivna – co-founder.

Black Sea PMC LLC

Year of foundation: 2014-2017.

PMC status: Closed 🔴

Locations of operations: Ukraine. The legal entity was registered in Sevastopol, with the main KVED classification of security activities and an additional one being weapons manufacturing.

Leaders of the Black Sea PMC LLC

  1. Sergey Anatolyevich Kalashnikov – director and co-founder;
  2. Pavel Sergeevich Alekseev – co-founder;
  3. Dmitry Anatolyevich Bilyi – co-founder;
  4. Aleksey Sergeevich Khokhlov – co-founder;
  5. Yashchenko Oleksandr Volodymyrovych – co-founder. Participant of the Russian operation to annex Crimea, militant of the "Checkpoint Puck". He is listed in the Myrotvorets database.

Anti-Terror-Eagle

Year of foundation: 1998-2016, the last year of the site's activity.

PMC status: Closed 🔴

Financing: Serhiy Isakov.

Locations of operations: Iraq, Nigeria, India, Sierra Leone, Angola.

 

According to the post, they were engaged in facility security and sapper work. The PMC's activity dates back to the war in Iraq in 2004.

 

Sergey Isakov is a former co-owner of Vnukov Airlines. He created the Russian Engineering Company and transported machinery and equipment to Iraq as part of the UN Oil-for-Food program and traded in oil. As a result, he created a PMC that was authorized by the Iraqi authorities to conduct security activities and use weapons.

'Slavic Corps'

Year of foundation: Registered in Hong Kong in 2013, last mentioned in the media in 2014.

PMC status: Closed 🔴

Financing: Russian Federal Security Service.

Leader: Shorokhov Yegor.

The number of fighters: 267 militants in 2013.

Locations of operations: Syria.

 

After the operation in Syria, in 2013, members and owners of the PMC were arrested. In 2013, Dmytro Utkin (call sign "Wagner") was a member of the Slavic Corps.

PMC MAR LLC

Year of foundation: 2014 – registration of a legal entity, 2018 – official closure, according to the organizer Oleksiy Marushchenko and the register of legal entities; 10.2019 – the last activity of the site; 2020 – 47 mercenaries unofficially recruited by the PMC "MAR" were detained in Belarus. Marushchenko said he did not know those people and that the PMC was closed.

PMC status: Probably closed 🟡🔴

The number of fighters: 70 – 400 militants for 2014-2017.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Libya, Syria.

 

PMC MAR LLC operated from 2014 to 2018, with Denys Shetko as its director and founder. However, according to the media, the head of the company was Oleksiy Marushchenko. They claimed to be protecting the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria, Donetsk, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. In 2015, they fought near Donetsk in the village of Spartak.

Financing of the MAR PMC

According to the former leader, Oleksiy Marushchenko, the PMC was financed by St. Petersburg businessmen, who invested "tens of millions of rubles." However, in 2018, the businessmen's interest in the war disappeared, so the PMC had to be closed.

 

Among the partners listed on the website are the Charitable Foundation "Assistance to the Conservation, Restoration and Protection of Biological Resources" and the public center for combat veterans "Soyuz-V". Soyuz-V is headed by combat veteran and participant of the Chechen War Daniil Gvozdev (currently, he leads a project to rehabilitate soldiers fighting in Ukraine).

Leaders of the Mar PMC

 

  1. Marushchenko Oleksiy Ivanovych is the organizer and leader of the PMC, according to the media and his own statements. In 2014, he fought in the ATO zone, founded the Mar PMC (closed), the Good People PMC (closed), and the Yastreb PMC (active). In 2022, he was spotted in the Kharkiv region – while delivering humanitarian aid, Marushchenko was arrested by LPR fighters on suspicion of illegal arms trafficking;
  2. Denys Volodymyrovych Shetko – director and owner of a legal entity. Probably a fictitious person, as he is (or was) the head of 13 legal entities.

 

ATK Group

Year of foundation: 2014.

PMC status: Probably closed 🟡🔴 The last time PMCs were mentioned in the media in 2018.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, Syria.

 

Ferax

PMC status: Probably active 🟡🟢 The last time PMCs were mentioned in the media in 2018.

Locations of operations: Iraq, Afghanistan, Kurdistan (Iran), Sri Lanka.

 

According to the article, the PMC does not publish its location, has no legal entity, and communicates only through a mailbox.

Byzantium

Year of foundation: 2015.

PMC status: Probably closed 🟡🔴 The last time PMCs were mentioned in the media in 2018. Recruitment to the PMC started in 2015.

Locations of operations: Ukraine, they were present in Ukraine from 2014-2015.

 

Vega PMC (Vegacy Strategic Services Ltd)

Year of foundation: 2011 – 2019.

PMC status: Closed 🔴

Leaders: Anatoly Anatolyevich Smolin, founder.

Locations of operations: Syria.

 

According to a 2019 Security Service of Ukraine investigation, the role of the Vega PMC fighters in the photo was played by Wagner's militants. They participated in the training of Palestinian rebels.

 

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