Ukrainian servicemen fire a self-propelled howitzer toward Russian positions on a frontline in Mykolaiv region


  • The new private military group will be founded by Gazprom Neft and STAFF-Centre Private Security Organization
  • An order to create the new group has been signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin
  • It is unclear if the new private military group will be deployed to Ukraine

Russian corporation Gazprom Neft, one of the largest producers of oil in Russia, is reportedly establishing its own private military group, according to Ukrainian intelligence.

An order to create a private military company has already been signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The new private military group will be founded by Gazprom Neft and the STAFF-Center Private Security Organization. It is unclear if the organization would be deployed to the war in Ukraine.

"The energy monopolist Gazprom Neft is creating its own private military company. Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of Russia, has signed the appropriate order," the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine said in a press release, as translated by Ukrainska Pravda.

"Thus, the 'arms race' will be ongoing among the main political players of Russia who are actively creating private armies following the example of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Wagner Group."

There are currently two private military groups deployed to the war in Ukraine, namely the notorious Wagner group founded by "Putin's chef" Yevgeny Prigozhin, and the Patriot Private Military Company founded by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Shoigu's private military group, which is competing against Prigozhin's Wagner group, had been spotted near Vuhledar in the region of Donetsk, as per Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The report about another private military organization in Russia comes as Moscow is expected to launch another potential offensive to mark the war's one-year anniversary.

While Russia has yet to officially announce the offensive, Serhii Haidai, Ukrainian governor of the temporarily occupied Luhansk region, said that tens of thousands of Russians are being sent to reinforce their positions in eastern Ukraine.

Despite Russia amassing its forces, some Western intelligence officials are doubting Moscow's capacity to sustain a prolonged offensive.

British Defense Intelligence on Tuesday said Russia has been attempting to launch a "major offensive operation" since early January with the aim of capturing the entire Donetsk region, including the besieged city of Bakhmut, which is still under Ukrainian control. However, Moscow's army "only managed to gain several hundred meters of territory per week" due to a lack of munitions.

Russian soldiers run along Red Square on September 29, 2022 prior to a ceremony announcing the incorporation of Ukrainian territories into Russia