Wagner Group opens recruitment centers across Russia

Wagner Group opens recruitment centers across Russia


The head of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner announced on Friday the opening of 58 recruiting centers in 42 cities across Russia, as he seeks to replenish his troops which are suffering heavy losses in eastern Ukraine .

The Wagner group is on the front line in the battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmout, and its boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has himself admitted that many fighters from his organization were killed there.< /p>

Against the backdrop of tensions with the Minister of Defense, Mr. Prigozhin has repeatedly complained that he can no longer recruit in Russian prisons, where Wagner enlisted prisoners on a massive scale in exchange for reduced sentences.

Changing tactics, it has recently turned to gyms to open recruiting points there to attract potential recruits.

“In 42 cities of the Russian Federation, recruitment centers on behalf of Wagner have opened. New fighters are arriving there, (they) will accompany us to defend their country and their families,” Prigojine said Friday in a statement released by his press service.

His message was accompanied by a list of these recruiting centers, the majority of which appear to have opened in gyms and martial arts clubs.

Mr. Prigojine, however, did not specify how many contract fighters he intended to recruit through these centers and in how long.

This announcement comes as Wagner suffered very heavy losses in the fighting that has lasted for several months around Bakhmout, a city in the Ukrainian Donbass that has become the epicenter of hostilities with the Kiev army.

For To stem a series of humiliating setbacks on the battlefield last summer, Russia announced in September the mobilization of 300,000 reservists. At the same time, the Wagner group had been authorized to recruit several thousand combatants from Russian prisons, in exchange for an amnesty after six months spent on the front.

But in recent weeks, tensions between the staff and Wagner's boss have come to light, while Russia, on the offensive in the Donbass, has made only weak progress there.


Evgeny Prigojine has thus multiplied on several occasions the virulent criticism of the Russian military hierarchy, castigating in turn its inefficiency, its slowness and its bad decisions in Ukraine.

He has accused the authorities of not providing the necessary ammunition to his men, and the Minister of Defense and the head of the army of wanting to destroy his Wagner group.

“Despite the colossal resistance of the Ukrainian armed forces , we will move forward. Despite the obstacles put in our way (…), we will overcome this together”, he swore on Friday.

Despite the disagreements between Wagner and the army, the forces Russian forces have advanced in recent days around Bakhmout, threatening to encircle this city which the Ukrainians continue to defend fiercely.