British intelligence claims that the private military company "Wagner" has under its command up to 50,000 militants who are involved in the war in Ukraine, and thus it has become a key component of the Russian military campaign.
This is stated in the intelligence review of the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain.
British intelligence draws attention to the fact that recently the "Wagner" PMC, which used to be "in the shadows", is increasingly coming out into the public space.
So, on December 27, 2022, information appeared in the Russian Unified State Register that the "Wagner" group was officially registered as a legal entity. The group announced "management consulting" as its main activity; there was no mention of combat service.
"It is not yet clear to what extent the Wagner PMC Center will be used to manage Wagner's paramilitary activities. Private military companies (PMCs) remain outlawed in Russia, despite ongoing discussions about reforming the law," the review says.
It is noted that the owner of Wagner, Evgeny Prigozhin, probably partly financed the organization at the expense of inflated state contracts concluded with his other companies.
"The registration continues the surprisingly rapid development of the public profile of the traditionally opaque group. Prigozhin admitted that he founded Wagner only in September 2022; in October 2022 it opened a glossy headquarters in St. Petersburg," the review says.
"Wagner" almost certainly now commands up to 50,000 fighters in Ukraine and has become a key component of the Ukrainian campaign. The registration is probably intended to maximize Prigozhin's commercial profit and further legitimize the organization, which is gaining more and more publicity," British intelligence said.
As reported, a group of Serbian and pro-Ukrainian activists in Serbia filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Russian private military company Wagner, accusing it of recruiting Serbs to participate in the war in Ukraine.