osceRussia combines traditional military and special means with the activities of private military companies (PMCs), local collaborationist forces, and other paramilitary groups defined in modern Russian military theory as "integrated force grouping."

 

“With the purpose to find the most effective combination of tools to achieve its aggressive goals, Russia tries to combine traditional military and special means with correlated activities of PMCs, mercenaries, local collaborationist forces and other paramilitary groups, such as ‘kazaki’ [Cossacks]. All of these units are integrated in joint communication and intelligence space and operates under the straight direction of Russian military command under the general military concept. The modern Russian military theory defines such approach as the ‘integrated force grouping’,” Vadym Skibitsky, the representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, said during a meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation dedicated to the activities of private military companies, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

 

Such kind of Russian activities have been witnessed in Ukraine, Syria and Libya.

 

As the representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence noted, combat experience of PMCs involvement in Ukraine and Syria gives the Kremlin ability to use this tool to project Russia’s influence in other regions.

 

“Russia is able to use such ‘integrated force grouping’ against other sovereign states, even European nations. The next practice of such combined forces approach we will see this September during the KAVKAZ-2020 strategic command and staff exercise,” Skibitsky noted.

 

He also noted that the Russian PMCs evolved fast and nowadays “they are almost the same as units of the armed forces.” “In fact, they are cheap regular forces that have no social protection of the state. There are indicators that Moscow is not going to decrease the usage of PMCs for the next several years,” the representative of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence stressed.

 

Nowadays the Russian PMCs are growing fast in numbers and capabilities; they are widening their footprint and increasing their influence.


“As well as they are becoming more financially strong and get more and more funds from hidden governmental and non-governmental sources. In the future, the Kremlin will widen the usage of such proxy-forces for its interests’ implementation and undermining the international stability,” Skibitsky said.

 

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