After losing more than 30,000 soldiers, the brutal Wagner Group is now recruiting in Russian schools
The Wagner Group, which has lost 30,000 soldiers in Ukraine, is now recruiting in Russian schools.
It's opened six recruitment centers to attract "impressionable" youth recruits, an ISW report said.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the group's founder, has pleaded for more ammo amid brutal fighting in Bakhmut.
A private military company has opened recruiting stations in Russian schools in the hopes of attracting "impressionable" youth recruits, according to a new report.
The Wagner Group, considered President Vladimir Putin's private army, has already lost some 30,000 fighters to death and injury since Russia started the war last February, Insider previously reported.
Many of those soldiers were former prisoners who joined Wagner's ranks to get out of jail.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the group's founder, said he wants to strengthen the group's ideological ambitions via recruitment centers at schools and youth sports clubs, according to a Saturday report from the Institute for the Study of War. The group has already opened six recruitment centers in Russia, the ISW said, citing Russian media.
In Apatity, Murmansk Oblast, members of the Wagner Group shared "heroic stories" and promoted the "little Wagner" youth camp in Crimea, according to the ISW report. The goal, per the ISW, is to conform impressionable youth recruits to "Prigozhin's extremist ideological brand of Russian ultranationalism."
Prigozhin said last week that Putin has "cut off" communication with him "to get me to stop asking for ammunition" for troops, something Prigozhin has done frequently in recent weeks.
Both Russian and Ukrainian sources have reported heavy fighting in the city of Bakhmut, where Wagner Group fighters are "likely becoming increasingly pinned in urban areas," making it difficult to make advances, the ISW report said.
A Ukrainian soldier said last week that the fighting in Bakhmut is getting so close that they've had to resort to fistfights to take on the Russian mercenaries.
In the past, Putin has also relied on the Wagner Group for Russian influence efforts in the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, and Syria.
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