Ukraine: Russia may use its private military companies against European countries

The combat experience, which was gained by Russian private military companies (PMCs) in Ukraine and Syria, gives the Kremlin the opportunity to use these companies to project its military influence in other regions, stated the representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense  Vadim Skibitsky during the meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security and Cooperation, dedicated to the activities of private military companies, Ukrinform reports.

Skibitsky said that Russia uses traditional military and special means in combination with other activities of PMCs such as use of local collaborating forces and other paramilitary groups, which in modern Russian military theory is defined as "an integrated grouping of troops (forces)."

"All these units are integrated into the common intelligence and information space and operate under the direct control of the top military leadership of the Russian Federation, according to a single plan. Modern Russian military theory defines this approach as "integrated groups of troops (forces)," Skibitsky explained.

"Russia is capable of using such "integrated groups of forces" against other sovereign states, even European countries. The practice of applying this approach will be observed in September during the strategic command and staff exercises Kavkaz 2020," Skibitsky said.

He added that the Russian PMCs are developing rapidly and "today look almost the same as the units of the regular armed forces."

"In fact, these are low cost regular forces that has no state protection. There are signs that Moscow is not going to reduce the use of PMCs over the next few years," said Skibitsky, adding that today the Russian PMCs are "growing rapidly, expanding its presence and increasing its influence."

"In addition, they are becoming financially stronger and are getting more and more from hidden governmental and non-governmental sources. In the future, the Kremlin will expand the use of such proxy forces to realize its interests, undermining international stability," Skibitsky said.

  Wagner Group, Ukraine, Russia