Wagner may try to recruit US veterans to fight in Ukraine

The Wagner Group may have produced the video to recruit American veterans to join the Russian military campaign.

“You are the hero of your country, spending your best years in the army. You dream of defeating evil, doing many things to make America great again,” comments in the video suspect. produced by Wagner to recruit American veterans with passages. This video was published by the London-based Twitter account Black Russian on January 30.

The narrator of the video adds that US soldiers are in fact disillusioned as they “destroy nations, killing civilians according to the wishes of those who think they are gods on earth, who decide see who will live and who must die.”

“It is not the America that the founders dreamed of, but has become the epicenter of the evil that destroys the whole world. Today, the only country that is fighting this evil is Russia. If you are patriotic Really, for the future of great America, join the ranks of the Russian warriors and help defeat evil or it will be too late,” the video reads.

Wagner suspects trying to recruit US veterans to fight in Ukraine

The video, possibly produced by the Russian private security group Wagner to recruit US veterans, was released on January 30. Video: Black Russian.

US media said the video uses images from the 2012 recruitment ad of the US Marines, footage of riots at the US Capitol in January 2021, excerpts from the film. The Patriot 2011 and Terminator 2: Judgement Day 1991. The video also features Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia’s Wagner private security group, and the organization’s badge.

US government officials have not commented on the video for details. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Garron Garn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the agency was “aware of the video but does not have anything additional to provide at this time”.

Lieutenant Colonel Garn suggested referring the question to the US State Department, which announced sanctions against Wagner and Prigozhin. The US State Department and the US National Security Council have not commented on the report.

Wagner Corporation and Russian officials were not immediately available for comment.

Some experts say the video resembles Wagner’s media product, but the Russian corporation has not posted it on any websites or social media accounts owned or associated with them.

“Given the fact that Mr. Prigozhin used to participate in activities on social networks, I do not rule out this possibility,” said Sergey Sukhankin, an expert at the Jamestown Foundation think tank based in Washington, US.

Jason Blazakis, an expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, USA, believes that the video may have been produced by Wagner or a unit working with the Russian security group to target US veterans.

“The video is similar to products that this group has produced aimed at viewers in the US. This has been a popular tactic of Mr. Prigozhin since 2016”, expert Blazakis said.

A military contractor belonging to the Russian private security group Wagner stands in front of a church in the city of Soledar, Donetsk province January 13.  Photo: RIA Novosti.

A military contractor belonging to the Russian private security group Wagner stands in front of a church in the city of Soledar, Donetsk province January 13. Photo: RIA Novosti.

Molly Dunigan, a political scientist at consulting firm RAND, thinks Wagner may be able to recruit US veterans because “they are short of people”. “They recruit widely in Russia,” said Dunigan. “They recruit prisoners in Russia. In the end they will be short of staff.”

Ms. Dunigan believes that up to 50,000 Wagner military contractors, considered by the West to be Russian mercenaries, are participating in the military operation in Ukraine. This expert said that the scale of Wagner’s combat force is currently the largest. In the past, Wagner’s largest deployment was in Syria with about 5,000 contractors fighting at the same time.

Lawyer Adam Pearlman of the international law firm Lexpat Global Services warned that any US citizen who becomes a Wagner military contractor will face “serious legal risks to himself and his family”, which could result in fines. up to a million dollars and 20 years in prison.

In addition, US citizens joining Wagner could also face the risk of being convicted of “working or assisting a terrorist organization”. The sentence for this act is 20 years in prison, even up to life if the “crime” leads to the death of another person.

Chad Lennon, an attorney for law firm Tully Rinckey, warned that US veterans could lose their rights and citizenship by joining Wagner or a foreign force. “If a veteran or a citizen supports a foreign military, they could lose out on the benefits they were entitled to in the United States,” Lennon said.

Nguyen Tien (Theo Task&Purpose)

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