On January 10, 2023, the Ukrainian town of Soledar was reportedly captured. But it wasn’t captured by the Russian army under Vladimir Putin’s command. The announcement came from a relatively unknown man, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who said his troops now controlled the town. The troops are part of the Wagner Group, a private army that has become a prominent force alongside Russian troops in the war against Ukraine.
But they aren’t new. They’ve been secretly fighting for Russia around the world since 2014. In this video, we take a look at their playbook and examine the three main steps they use to spread Russian influence around the world in brutal ways. We also look at how they’ve transformed from a ghost army to a recognizable private military group with insignias and an online brand, changing the nature of this secret group and its role in the world.
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