Grupo Wagner

Depuis 2018 et son arrivée dans le Sahel via la Centrafrique, le groupe s'illustre par ses exactions. Loin de contribuer à la pacification de la région, le groupe mercenaire participe au chaos ambiant : trafics, criminalité, exécutions sommaires, désinformation, etc. Cette prédation aggrave l'instabilité de la région prise dans le maelstrom des conflits intercommunautaires et des trafics illégaux (minerais, migrants, stupéfiants, armes, etc.). Car c'est bien la soif d'or qui aiguise l'appétit des mercenaires.

Si le groupe Wagner est une extension du Kremlin, il n'en reste pas moins une société militaire privée (SMP) répondant à des impératifs de rentabilité. L'exploitation de l'or fait partie de son modèle économique.…  Seguir leyendo »

People visit a makeshift memorial for Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in central Moscow on Oct. 1. Natalia Kolesnikova /AFP via Getty Images

On Aug. 23, the business jet carrying Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin crashed about 60 miles north of Moscow, killing everyone on board. With Prigozhin’s death, people and organizations within the Russian government are now maneuvering to obtain control of Wagner’s network of relationships and assets on the African continent.

The Wagner Group, a nominally private military firm, had operated in several African countries since 2017, participating in conflicts in Mali, Libya, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Wagner provided services to African regimes—including combat operations, security and training, and disinformation campaigns—in exchange for diplomatic support and resources.

The use of mercenaries allowed Russia to expand its geostrategic reach at a low cost to Moscow.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yevgueny Prigozhin, jefe del Grupo Wagner, en un vídeo difundido por él mismo.

Durante este año hemos asistido a una tremenda sangría de las fuerzas ucranianas en Bakhmut. Miles de soldados ucranianos dejaron su vida en la defensa de una ciudad que aparentemente carecía de valor estratégico.

Muy poca gente entendía lo que estaban defendiendo las fuerzas ucranianas. Y por ello, el presidente Zelensky advirtió que no podía contar los verdaderos motivos del empecinamiento en la defensa de esta ciudad. Ahora que vemos cómo las fuerzas ucranianas han roto la segunda línea de defensa en el frente de Zaporiyia, parece que comenzamos a entender el porqué de esta decisión.

Bakhmut no sólo fue el inicio de la contraofensiva, sino el principio del fin de Prigozhin y de los Wagner.…  Seguir leyendo »

Multiple reports have accused Wagner's mercenaries of committing war crimes, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially declared that the group has been entirely financed by the Russian state. © Vladimir Nikolayev / AFP

On 23 August 2023, Russian authorities reported that a private jet carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin – Wagner Private Military Company’s No. 1 and No. 2 – crashed killing everyone on board. The next day, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeared to confirm Prigozhin’s death, promising a thorough inquiry into the crash. Wagner PMC, active since at least 2014, has been linked to war crimes in Ukraine, Mali, Libya, Central African Republic (CAR) and Syria. In January 2023, the U.S. Government designated Wagner PMC as a “Transnational Criminal Organization”. Commentators have opined that Wagner PMC acts as a private proxy for the Kremlin’s foreign policy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russian servicemen inspect part of the crashed private jet near the village of Kuzhenkino, Tver region, Russia, on Thursday, August 24. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin — who the Russian aviation agency confirmed was a passenger on board a plane that crashed on Wednesday evening — seemed to be living on borrowed time.

Ever since June, when the warlord led his Wagner mercenaries in an uprising against his country’s military commanders, the Kremlin’s soft response had bewildered longtime Russia watchers.

Within the span of a few hours, Russian President Vladimir Putin switched from accusing Prigozhin of “treason”, and labeling his mutiny “a stab in the back of our troops and the people”, to allowing Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko to promise Prigozhin amnesty and a base for his fighters.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prigozhin, Rubiales, Puigdemont: el triple rasero

La muerte con visos de asesinato del líder del grupo Wagner, Yevgueni Prigozhin, me ha remitido de manera fulminante a la obra teatral Patriots que vi hace tres semanas en Londres. Su autor Peter Morgan, guionista y creador de The Crown, reconstruye, con su habitual maestría para dramatizar la realidad, el ascenso y consolidación en el poder de Putin, a través de su relación con su primero protector y después víctima, el oligarca Boris Berezovsky.

Toda la función es trepidante, pero se me quedó grabada la discusión de Putin con su entonces jefe de gabinete Alexander Volóshin sobre qué hacer con Berezovsky, tras su viraje hostil a través del canal de televisión que controlaba.…  Seguir leyendo »

A view of the site where a private jet, allegedly carrying Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin and other passengers crashed in Russia's northwestern Tver region. (Photo by Wagner Telegram Account/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Retribution against Yevgeniy Prigozhin, leader of Wagner’s failed coup attempt in June, was inevitable.

Prigozhin knew President Vladimir Putin’s methods well enough to take precautions. It is known that multiple individuals have changed their name to Yevgeniy Prigozhin as part of the mercenary leader’s efforts to obfuscate his travels.

Therefore it may never be established for certain that he died in the private jet. Even President Putin, in his first comment on the incident, delivered a stilted obituary but stopped short of saying Prigozhin was definitely among the dead. And the crash is so politically significant that there is no chance of a transparent or credible investigation.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una mujer enciende una vela frente a un retrato del jefe de los mercenarios de Wagner, Yevgueni Prigozhin, en un monumento improvisado en Moscú, este jueves.STRINGER (REUTERS)

No sabemos todavía cuál ha sido la causa de la caída del avión. Tampoco sabemos si Yevgueni Prigozhin está realmente entre los dirigentes fallecidos del grupo mercenario Wagner (solo hay información de fuentes rusas). Pero lo que sí podemos dar ya por hecho es que, aunque su desaparición se confirme finalmente, hay algunas realidades rusas que no van a cambiar en nada sustancial.

Así ocurre, en primer lugar, con la realidad de una privatización de la seguridad que, como también enseñan estadounidenses y británicos, se ha normalizado irreversiblemente. Hace años que Vladímir Putin lleva recurriendo a grupos privados armados, a los que encarga tareas que van desde la desinformación y la propaganda hasta acciones de combate, abarcando todo el espectro de lo que comúnmente se considera “guerra sucia”, sin olvidar el control y represión de críticos y disidentes de todo tipo.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Wagner soldier pays tribute to Yevgeny Prigozhin and the military group’s reported founder, Dmitry Utkin, at the Wagner office in Novosibirsk, Russia, on Wednesday. Photograph: Vladimir Nikolayev/AFP/Getty Images

“We will all go to hell. But in hell we will be the best”, commented Yevgeny Prigozhin, discussing his attitude to death in an undated interview that was published last night on the pro-Wagner Grey Zone Telegram channel. In the absence of any remarkable developments, it is looking increasingly likely that, as per Russian reports, the Wagner boss was killed on Wednesday afternoon in a plane crash in the Russian region of Tver, on his way from Moscow to St Petersburg.

Prigozhin shot to international notoriety almost a year ago, when a video of him recruiting convicts in Russian prisons to fight in Ukraine for his Wagner private military company established him as one of the most important Russian players in the war in Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

What Prigozhin Did in Putin’s Russia Was the Ultimate Betrayal

Russians have always had a penchant for rumor and conspiracies, underpinned by the presumption that official news is deeply doctored by the Kremlin. So it is not surprising that within hours of the first reports of a plane crashing with somebody as notorious as Yevgeny Prigozhin listed as a passenger, speculation spread like a Siberian wildfire. Perhaps he was not on the plane and had staged his death to disappear. Or maybe President Vladimir Putin now had Mr. Prigozhin in a secret dungeon. Or the Ukrainians on whom he unleashed his mercenaries blew the plane up.

Nothing seemed impossible with Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yevgeniy Prigozhin in Moscow on July 4, 2017. (Sergei Ilnitsky/AP)

The most fitting epitaph for Wagner Group founder Yevgeniy Prigozhin was delivered by the shotgun-wielding hit man Omar Little on “The Wire”: “You come at the king, you best not miss”. There’s still much we don’t know for certain (and might never know), but that pearl of wisdom was confirmed by Prigozhin’s apparent death Wednesday after a private plane he was on reportedly crashed north of Moscow.

Prigozhin came for “the king” in the Kremlin — Vladimir Putin — exactly two months before his death. In late June, Prigozhin claimed his mercenaries were only marching on Moscow to oust Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gen.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the Wagner Group stand on the balcony of the circus building in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday. (Roman Romokhov/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a plane believed to be carrying Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, crashed in Russia. According to Russia’s Ministry of Emergency, all 10 people on board were killed.

Prigozhin made global headlines in June, when he took over a regional capital in Russia and sent a column of soldiers to Moscow. He called off the apparent coup in the making on the same day, sending his forces back to their barracks. He had seemingly struck a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin — but, as many commentators pointed out, that did not mean he was safe from reprisal by Russia or efforts to bring him to justice internationally.…  Seguir leyendo »

Wagner y su jefe

Difícilmente el gran compositor alemán Richard Wagner podía haber imaginado que un día los militares del Tercer Reich, para acabar con su líder, Adolf Hitler, prepararían una operación-atentado contra el Führer, codificándola de “Valquiria”, el título de una de las óperas más famosas de Wagner, a sabiendas que Hitler era un gran admirador de la música operística wagneriana.

Y menos todavía se le podía haber pasado por la imaginación del genial compositor germano, que casi 80 años más tarde después del frustrado atentado contra Hitler, en otro país, Rusia, habría producido una rebelión de una unidad de militares rusos, cuyo nombre de pila sería el del propio músico alemán – “Wagner”.…  Seguir leyendo »

The United States needs to get way more proactive way more quickly in what is rapidly morphing into a huge crisis in the heart of Africa. Two weeks ago, a military junta suddenly deposed Niger’s pro-American, democratically elected president. The outcome of this coup could set the direction for years to come in a region that is home to critical raw materials, a base for jihadists driven from the Middle East and a source of strategic benefits for Russia.

This latest challenge to democracy in Africa presents an opportunity for Russia to expand its control over the region via its Wagner mercenary group.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters hold a Russian flag aloft during a demonstration in Niger’s capital, Niamey, on Aug. 3, the African nation’s Independence Day. Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In July, the Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin released a video from his new base in Belarus, welcoming his fighters to their country of exile after the Wagner group’s ill-fated mutiny. He also told them to prepare — for “a new journey to Africa”.

It was the first public signal that Wagner’s expansive Africa operations would carry on after Mr. Prigozhin’s banishment. Days later, after a coup in Niger ousted the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, Mr. Prigozhin wasted no time in offering his services to the new junta leader, though it is unclear what control he still has over the group after his failed mutiny attempt in Russia in June.…  Seguir leyendo »


Lo que ha llevado a Rusia al callejón sin salida (clara) de la invasión de Ucrania es un largo proceso preparatorio de militarización rampante y de férreo amordazamiento de las libertades civiles, derivado de la concentración de poder -de un poder omnímodo- en torno al Kremlin. En la decisión de agredir al país vecino bajo el pretexto manoseado de la defensa propia hubo de pesar, casi con total seguridad, el temor a que el modelo ucraniano de acercamiento a las democracias liberales tuviera a medio plazo un efecto indeseado de contagio sobre la sociedad rusa, lo que pondría en serio riesgo los pilares del régimen actual, laboriosamente levantados sobre las cenizas todavía humeantes del imperio soviético.…  Seguir leyendo »

Vladimir Putin, left, and Yevgeny Prigozhin. Photograph: Gavriil Grigorov/SPUTNIK/AFP/Getty Images

In late June, thousands of Wagner group paramilitary forces launched a mutiny in Russia. It seemed to constitute a significant challenge to Putin – the first from within his own country since the invasion – and yet it was over within 48 hours. What can its aftermath tell us about Putin’s position? And does the group still pose a threat?

The mutiny began after the country’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, ordered the mercenary soldiers to sign new contracts directly with his ministry. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the mutiny’s leader and Wagner’s longtime contractor and fixer, called for the ousting of both Shoigu and the chief of the general staff, Valery Gerasimov.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un tanque atascado en las puertas del circo de la ciudad rusa de Rostov del Don se ha convertido en el irónico símbolo de la fallida rebelión del Grupo Wagner, la compañía militar privada de Yevgeny Prigozhin, contra el Gobierno y el mando militar ruso.

a russian tank stuck during the weekend not-quite-a-coup in rostov…at a circus gate.

— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) June 25, 2023

Mientras ocurría este motín y los tanques de Wagner avanzaban hacia Moscú, los líderes de la UE y de los Estados Unidos se mostraban seriamente preocupados por las armas nucleares rusas, que podían terminar en manos de líderes militares impredecibles.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the days since the Wagner Group abandoned its march on Moscow on June 24th, speculation has grown about what will become of Russia’s notorious paramilitary company and its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Amid reports of President Vladimir Putin poking around Wagner’s assets and troop deployments, and with the status and whereabouts of Mr Prigozhin himself cloaked in mystery, the future of the group—and its extensive business empire—is unclear.

What is clear is that Wagner has been one of Russia’s most successful foreign-policy initiatives during the past decade. The group has allowed Russia to expand its influence into unstable states, particularly in Africa, advancing its economic interests, often through violent means.…  Seguir leyendo »

«Grita ¡devastación! y suelta a los perros de la guerra»

Cuando en febrero de 2022 Rusia invadió Ucrania rememoré esa cita de Shakespeare. Una íntima pedantería me impidió advertir entonces que el lugar donde había leído por primera vez la teatral frase no fue el Julio César, de donde procede, sino el inicio de 'Los perros de la guerra', una novela de intriga de los años setenta escrita por Frederick Forsyth. Los sucesos ocurridos en Rusia entre el 23 y el 24 de junio de este 2023 me volvieron a recordar aquel 'best-seller'. Según confesión propia, Forsyth sacó su argumento de sus vivencias en varias pequeñas repúblicas africanas durante la etapa poscolonial: repúblicas «tan caóticas y mal defendidas», apuntó una vez el novelista británico, que «podrían ser derrocadas y conquistadas por un grupo reducido de soldados profesionales con el armamento adecuado».…  Seguir leyendo »