Tag Archives: Wagner Group

If Russia Wants Its Air Bases to Stop Exploding, It Can Stop Its War in Ukraine

Almost as soon as the war in Ukraine began, strange things started to happen in Russia. Buildings connected to the country’s military and its war effort caught fire, saboteurs were suspected – and occasionally caught, according to state TV – and recently, air bases quite far away from Ukraine have started to blow up.  

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The Russian Way of War, from Syria to Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has packed a great deal of destruction into mere weeks. Thousands of innocents have been killed. Civilian apartments and shopping centres have been destroyed by missile strikes. Hospitals and schools purposely bombed. Population centres like Mariupol have been subjected to siege tactics and heavy bombardment, with false humanitarian corridors established only to be repudiated by a hail of fire.

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Afghanistan Outsourced

If outsourcing has become inevitable in commerce, we cannot be surprised that it has found its place in government. In matters of national security especially, it can be of use to rely less on soldiers than on mercenaries. Russia makes extensive use of the Wagner Group, mercenaries who operate with the state’s approval in Middle Eastern and African battlefields, doing dirty work in a deniable fashion.

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Syria’s Civil War in Libya

Libya’s civil war increasingly appears to have drawn in the world.

The war, whose new form took shape years after the defeat and death of Muammar Gaddafi, now features the following players. First, the Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli. It’s recognised by the United Nations, and in its defence, NATO’s secretary-general has recently suggested, the signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty ought to stand ready to intervene.

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Failing to Respond

Amid all that has occurred since, it is easy to forget what happened in Syria at the start of this month. First, as February began, the regime of Bashar al-Assad was credibly accused of several chemical weapons attacks on civilian areas, during routine airstrikes against non-military targets. And second, days later, the American-led coalition killed over 100 pro-regime fighters who had attacked a detachment of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US troops escorting them east of the Euphrates. Continue reading