The Wagner group has spearheaded the months-long Russian assault on Bakhmut


  • Wagner Group has launched an online recruitment due to a personnel shortage in Ukraine
  • Wagner's recruitment drive targeted Nazi supporters and individuals in conflict with the law
  • The mercenary group also put up recruitment ads on regional television, billboards and the internet

The notorious Russian mercenary Wagner Group seeks to recruit individuals with Nazi symbols to join Russia's war effort against Ukraine.

Citing a video published by an Eastern Europe-based Sistemy investigative project, Ukrainska Pravda reported that the Wagner Group launched recruitment through the Russian social network VKontakte.

Due to the shortage of mercenary personnel, the Wagner Group targeted Nazi supporters and Russians in conflict with the law to join them on the Ukrainian battlefield.

"An outstanding conviction for selling drugs, a swastika tattoo, being wanted for robbery – all this will not be an obstacle for those who want to sign a contract with Wagner Group and go to war in Ukraine," according to Sistemy's investigative video.

The investigative media outfit also revealed that the Russian mercenary group has also advertised on regional television, billboards and the internet for its recruitment campaign.

Wagner's recruitment of Nazi sympathizers is in direct contrast with last year's pronouncement of Russian President Vladimir Putin accusing Ukraine of being Nazis.

When Putin launched the Russian invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago, he said the so-called "special military operation" aimed to "demilitarize and denazify" the neighboring country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has a Jewish heritage, and the Nazis killed his great-grandparents during the Second World War.

The U.S. Helsinki Commission, also known as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, blasted Putin's Nazi claims against Ukraine, saying it was an attempt to channel the Soviet-era Great Patriotic War's role in crushing Nazism.

"The real nature of Putin's claim is clear: it is a fallacious attempt to drum up domestic support for his war of aggression in Ukraine designed to resonate with a Russian audience," the Helsinki Commission said.

On Monday, Wagner's head Yevgeny Prigozhin revealed that his mercenary group holed out in the heavily contested Ukrainian town of Bakhmut has started to receive ammunition from Russia.

"According to preliminary data, we are starting to receive ammunition. We have not (yet) seen it in practice," Prigozhin said, Reuters reported.

This came a day after Russia promised the Wagner Group to provide enough ammunition to sustain its combat operations in Bakhmut following Prigozhin's threat of withdrawal.

Last Friday, Prigozhin threatened to pull out his fighters from Bakhmut after lashing out at Russia's top military brass over insufficient ammunition and heavy casualties on the Ukrainian battlefield.

"Their unprofessionalism is destroying tens of thousands of Russian guys, and that is unforgivable," Prigozhin said.

The Wagner Group and the Russian military have been locked in a bitter rivalry for several months as Russia continues failing to gain ground in Ukraine.

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