MOSCOW (Agencies): In the wake of the Wagner Group’s decline due to the plane crash that claimed the lives of its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and his associate Dmitry Utkin, a new Private Military Company (PMC) has risen in Russia, aiming to play a prominent role in the Kremlin’s hybrid and conventional warfare strategies. PMC Redut has emerged as a potential successor to Wagner, as reported by the Geopolitical Monitor on August 30.
The demise of Prigozhin and Utkin marks a significant turning point in Russia’s private military company landscape. Redut, backed by Russian Military Intelligence, is positioning itself as a “completely loyal” PMC aligned with President Vladimir Putin’s interests. This allegiance to the Kremlin is underscored by Redut’s reliance on Russian state institutions for its weaponry and ammunition, granting military intelligence commanders substantial influence over the mercenary group, while still allowing for a degree of operational autonomy.
- Origins of Redut
Redut’s history reveals its long-standing service in advancing Kremlin interests, both domestically and abroad. Established by former employees of Russia’s Ministry of Defense, Foreign Intelligence Service, and Special Forces, Redut boasts considerable experience in combat operations and warfare. The group has historically been involved in safeguarding Russian oligarchs and their corporate interests within Russia and abroad, similar to the Wagner Group.
With the demise of Prigozhin and Utkin, Redut is poised to assume a prominent role in conducting security and military operations abroad, particularly in Ukraine. Notably, Redut was originally established to protect the business interests of Gennady Timchenko, a former KGB officer and a close associate of Putin. Timchenko holds substantial assets in the gas industry and stands to benefit significantly from Redut’s security services.
While Prigozhin was alive, his growing influence and proximity to Putin prompted Russian elites to enhance Redut’s capabilities, positioning it as a potential competitor to the Wagner Group. Redut has actively recruited experienced fighters, including those involved in the Kyiv offensive and an alleged plot to assassinate Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at the outset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This recruitment has led to tensions and competition between the two PMCs as they vie for mercenaries and business opportunities.
In summary, the emergence of PMC Redut following the decline of the Wagner Group represents a shift in the landscape of Russian private military companies. Redut, with its close ties to Russian Military Intelligence and influential backers, aims to play a pivotal role in advancing the Kremlin’s interests in hybrid and conventional warfare, both domestically and abroad.