The Emergence of Russian Private Military Companies: A New Tool of Clandestine Warfare
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In recent years, the Russian private security and military company (PMSC) industry has evolved to serve the needs of both business clients as well as governments. Thus far, the ties between the Kremlin and the Russian PMSC industry are ambiguous and seem to vary across the different companies. What seems clear though, is that the Kremlin is experimenting with the utility of these companies and that the use of PMSCs is on the rise. Private security and military companies are neither explicitly legal nor illegal in Russia, a status that may serve Russian authorities well in situations where attribution and attention is unwanted. While the exact shape and role of the Russian PMSC industry may not be carved out fully, Russia is now home to a small, but potent, PMSC industry that can be mobilized to inflict harm on the country’s enemies.
Bukkvoll, Tor; Østensen, Åse Gilje. The Emergence of Russian Private Military Companies: A New Tool of Clandestine Warfare. Special Operations Journal (SOJ) 2020