They never retire and use convicts as cannon fodder: Wagner’s mercenary tactics, according to Ukraine

The fighters of the Wagner group have become “one-time foot soldiers of the Russian offensive in Eastern Ukraine”, never retreating and acting “ruthlessly” among themselves. According to a Ukrainian intelligence report published by CNN.

Wagner’s mercenary group, led by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, has become increasingly visible on the Ukrainian front in recent weeks, where it has been quick to assert the success of Russia’s advance. The document, dated December 2022, concludes that Wagner poses a unique threat, even while suffering extraordinary casualties.

“The death of thousands of Wagner soldiers does not matter to Russian society,” the report said. “Strike teams do not leave without orders… Unauthorized withdrawal of the team or without injury is punishable by execution on the spot.”

Wiretaps obtained by a Ukrainian intelligence source and CNN have seen his attitude on the battlefield. In one of them, which could not be independently verified by the chain, a soldier is heard talking about another who tried to surrender to the Ukrainians and who was repressed by them. ” Wagnerians They caught him and cut his balls,” says the soldier.

According to USA Network, Wagner’s wounded fighters often remain on the battlefield for hours. “Assault infantry cannot independently remove the wounded from the battlefield, because their main task is to continue the attack until the objective is reached. If the attack fails, retreat is allowed, but only at night.”

Ukrainians believe that Wagner’s mercenary tactics are “only effective against the poorly trained mobilized troops that make up the majority of Russia’s ground forces.” They suggest that the Russian military may be adapting its tactics to more closely resemble the group. Instead of the classic battalion tactical groups of the Russian Armed Forces, assault units are proposed.

Convicts at the front

Russian convicts, tens of thousands of whom were recruited by Wagner, often form the first wave of attacks and suffer the heaviest casualties, up to 80% of them, according to Ukraine. They will be followed by more experienced fighters with thermal imaging and night vision equipment.

The Russian prisoners’ rights organization Rus Sidiaschaya (RS) indicates that approximately 40,000 prisoners recruited by Wagner’s mercenary group have been killed, abandoned, wounded or imprisoned in Ukraine.

“About 10,000 (convicts) are fighting at the front because the rest were killed, wounded, disappeared, abandoned or surrendered,” RS director Olga Romanova told the My Russian Rights portal.

The analytical center The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that while it cannot confirm such figures, they are “highly plausible given the Wagner model of using convicts as cannon fodder in high-attrition offensive operations.”

“The model that Wagner is reportedly using to maintain his highly trained and long-serving mercenaries as leaders and special forces-type elements over a mass of untrained convicts also results in high losses in combat, surrender and desertion. “The Wagner Group’s goal of reducing casualties among its undocumented recruits likely undermines its ability to effectively retain and employ large convict populations at scale and over time,” its researchers said.

US sanctions

The United States announced last Friday that it would impose new sanctions against Wagner over his involvement in the Ukraine conflict, labeling him a “transnational criminal organization.” The Kremlin played down the significance of the US sanctions, saying they would not change anything “on a practical level”.

The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, responded to the US announcement over the weekend, saying that “in the end, Wagner and the US will be colleagues.” “Our relations can henceforth be defined as ‘disputes between criminal clans.’

Recent fighting in eastern Ukraine has revealed a rift between Russian Defense Ministry leaders and Prigozhin, who emerged from the shadows as Wagner’s boss during the Ukraine war.

According to EFE.

Source: El Diario





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