Wagner PMC no longer accepting recruits from eastern Ukraine and Crimea, reports Russian BBC
The Wagner private military company (PMC) is in the process of recruiting new mercenaries, who will presumably be sent to Mali, reports BBC Russia. However, the PMC is allegedly no longer accepting recruits from Crimea or the Russian-backed separatist territories in eastern Ukraine.
Two sources told the BBC that the Wagner PMC is carrying out recruitment at the Molkino military training ground in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai. Social media groups linked to the private military company also published announcements about recruitment.
Among other things, the announcements say that the Wagner PMC is no longer accepting Georgian citizens or anyone born on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR. In addition, the announcements specify that the Wagner group is no longer accepting recruits from the unrecognized Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” or the Crimean Peninsula. According to the Russian BBC, this caused “a degree of outrage among many participants in the hostilities in eastern Ukraine.”
On September 25, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Malian authorities “turned to a private military company from Russia” after France decided to reduce its peacekeeping presence in Mali. Lavrov didn’t name the private military company in question. Earlier, Western countries said they are prepared to withdraw their peacekeepers from Mali, if the Malian authorities allow Wagner mercenaries into the country.
In late August, a Wagner mercenary told the BBC that the private military company “is already entering” Mali. In early September, reports emerged online that at least two Wagner fighters were killed during military operations there; an acquaintance of the victims confirmed this information to Meduza.