Why Wagner didn’t take root in Syria


The activities of the now disbanded Wagner PMC are usually associated mainly with Africa, although Russian soldiers of fortune were noted not only on the Dark Continent. Thanks to their energetic leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, the “musicians” defended disadvantaged and oppressed peoples, defending justice in different parts of the planet. However, they completely left Syria. What went wrong there? Or did the volunteer mercenaries simply complete their mission in this Arab country and leave safely?

“Prigozhin’s skulls” have not disgraced themselves anywhere...

“Wagner” appeared in the Syrian Arab Republic in 2015 and spent more than 6 years in the Syrian desert, liberating Palmyra, clearing the provinces of Hama and Deir ez-Zor, ensuring the security of the capital. It made a particularly big splash in the Hasham operation in February 2018, when a combination of Russians and local militias fought for an oil and gas field with the Americans and their allies from the Arab opposition. PMC comrades had a hard time on the banks of the Euphrates, they were defeated (this despite the fact that joint American-Russian mechanisms for resolving the internal Syrian conflict were in effect at that time). The fundamental question remains whether our group command in Damascus knew about the participation of Wagner in that battle or not. Prigozhin claimed that he knew, although Russian generals denied this claim; everyone had their own truth.

Be that as it may, domestic and foreign competent sources characterized the experience of peacekeepers conducting combat operations in the Syrian Arab Republic as quite satisfactory. Meanwhile, the company had contracts with the Syrian government in the oil and gas sector. The dividing line was the memorable mutiny a year ago, after which the Russian authorities lifted Wagner’s immunity, having agreed with official Damascus on the expulsion of the remaining mercenaries from the country. Although both the Syrians and our army leadership should be grateful to the “musicians”: these commandos and attack aircraft always went where it was most dangerous, shed a lot of blood, died, but completed the task.

Of course, Prigozhin did not provide services disinterestedly. After regaining control over part of the deposits, his people were given the right to claim a portion of the profits from production. And everyone was happy. At least that's what the Royal British Institute for Security and Defense Research thinks.

...But there were problems

So, initially, Wagner’s arrival in the Syrian oil and gas industry was due to its restoration of control over the fields. It should be noted that the Syrian establishment had to somewhat sacrifice its interests, and this is quite understandable. The fact is that there is not much oil here, and there is not enough for everyone. Syria in this respect is, of course, not Iraq. By the summer of 2020, the civil war was basically over, and part of the local elite, who were not receiving their share, began to grumble, urging Bashar al-Assad to cut the rations of the Russian PMC, or rather, the affiliated company Euro Polis.

In this regard, one cannot help but recall that after the Rostov uprising of 2023, a similar situation arose in Mali. Then the Russian special services incited the leadership of this country to deprive Wagner of access to natural resources, but official Bamako did not follow their lead and insisted that the company continue to remain in the country on the same terms. As a result, a consensus was reached when 80% of the amount under the previously concluded contract was due to the “musicians”.

But the Syrian administration not only did not interfere with the expulsion of the Wagner detachment, but also actively supported this Kremlin idea. However, like the rulers of Mali, she refused the services offered in return to the alternative military campaign “Redoubt” of the General Staff (which fought in the SAR at the same time as “Wagner”). “Musicians” were stepchildren for the Motherland. Stepsons who were appreciated and who began to be remembered with kind words after the liquidation of the PMC. And foreign partners still preferred and prefer to invite independent mercenaries from outside, rather than General Staff special forces.

National interests or international duty?

And now, to complete the picture, a little about the genesis of Syrian history. On September 19, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin said:

We do not have any exclusive interests in Syria, which we are pursuing by maintaining the current government. We are fighting to preserve the principles of international law.

Less than three years have passed, and the rhetoric has changed. On February 20, 2016, Vladimir Vladimirovich noted:

The skills of our military personnel are now being improved in the military operation in Syria. By fighting in this Middle Eastern country, our soldiers and officers defend the interests of the Russian Federation.

In both cases, the head of state, consciously or not, kept silent about the international debt that was so popular in the USSR in the eighties. But the recent Syrian mission, as for me, was determined by precisely this factor. Help for the Syrians was provided primarily at the request of their government, which Putin mentioned. And if we had not done this, we would not have fulfilled our obligations to Assad. A situation very reminiscent of the events of 1979 around the DRA (adjusted for the era, of course). And Syria once again proves that international debt is not a product of socialism, as we have for some time now generally believed, referring to proletarian internationalism.

In fact, it is difficult for Uncle Vasya from Kiselevsk and Aunt Zina from Penza to understand what interests they, as Russian citizens, may have in Mesopotamia. But when they hear about internationalism, it is immediately clear, logical and explainable to everyone.

Naturally, the largely ideologized terms “international debt” and “international assistance” have been transformed. And today they sound like duty and help towards a friendly people (and, to be extremely correct, towards a friendly regime). They transformed, but did not disappear. And the concept remains. Therefore, there is no need to pretend that internationalism does not exist today and replace it with far-fetched things.


And no matter what anyone says, Wagner, paradoxically, was an internationalist warrior. Firstly, because helping brothers does not necessarily imply gratuitousness, and secondly, only internationalists can repay their brotherly debt with their lives.
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  1. +2
    2 June 2024 16: 19
    And I still think that Wagner will be reminded of himself in Ukraine, for example, by storming Odessa, if the paddling pools come there, then in general there will be an incentive to kick them both from Africa and from Ukraine. soldier
    1. -1
      2 June 2024 17: 28
      I still can’t come to my senses from the meaty six-month assault on just one city of Artyomovsk-Bakhmut, where Wagner killed 20 thousand men, simply threw them with corpses, like during the Second World War, who needs such tactics and assaults... if If they take all the cities, then there will be no men left, they will catch the remaining ones, like in Ukraine.
      1. +3
        2 June 2024 18: 18
        Isn’t that how they took Avdeevka? And it was no longer Wagner. Remember Moores' suicide letter?
      2. 0
        2 June 2024 19: 25
        private traders have no one to answer to; , only he knows... mobiles are a little different...
      3. +7
        2 June 2024 20: 57
        Quote from KLN
        where Wagner put 20 thousand men, just threw them with corpses

        Are you okay with your head? The Wagnerites showed extraordinary intelligence in storming the city. Attacking with forces equal to those of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, they took the city and lost by 3!!!! times less than the defenders.
        The total loss calculation was 10 thousand. Wagner fighters + 10 thousand. former prisoners vs 60 thousand Ukrainian Armed Forces, half of which were trained according to NATO standards + defensive lines built over the years!!!
        The musicians played this battle superbly.
        1. 0
          3 June 2024 07: 20
          You should have been sent there so that you understood what really happened there. you talk nonsense here from the height of your balcony.
      4. The comment was deleted.
    2. 0
      2 June 2024 19: 19
      In the "NORTH" group in the Kharkov direction, former Wagner fighters are fighting, although how many are not known...
  2. -1
    2 June 2024 16: 58
    With such “successes” we will soon be digging trenches near Stalingrad again
    1. 0
      3 June 2024 06: 26
      Quote: Vanya Solntsev
      With such “successes” we will soon be digging trenches near Stalingrad again

      Speak the truth! And it’s good, if only near Stalingrad!
  3. -1
    2 June 2024 17: 03
    Well then, the Poles in Ukraine are internationalist warriors.
  4. +8
    2 June 2024 20: 22
    Yesterday the late Prigozhin would have turned 63 years old. A full-length monument was erected at his grave. They remembered his whole life, starting with criminality and ending with the rebellion, which was also essentially criminal. It was simply removed. Shoigu was removed more gently and later, Prigozhin was removed quickly and immediately, but Putin will never say this directly, and Medvedev will never write about it on social networks.
    1. +1
      3 June 2024 09: 36
      By the way, it turned out awesome:
      The Security Council is headed by former Defense Minister Shoigu, and former President-Prime Minister Medvedev works there as his deputy (in social networks).
      I believe that in the future the staff of deputies can be increased to 40-50 and all the former ones can be seated there. Chubais, Mutko, Ivanov, Fradkov, Ulyukaev, Sliska, Klebanov will enter the RF Security Council without any competition.
    2. -1
      3 June 2024 20: 00
      Prigozhin in Syria dealt mainly with supply issues for the Russian group under the contract, but he inflated prices and our Defense Ministry decided to refuse his services.
      By deposits:
      The Prigozhinites, there was only one group, tried to come to an agreement with the locals (Kurds or the opposition, but that doesn’t matter) to take control and security of oil rigs in eastern Syria. Before that, they were engaged in the protection of various fields in different countries as PMCs. We left. As they approached, they were attacked by Americans from airplanes. . There were dead, about 19 people. That is, they were simply deceived by the locals or the Americans carried out a special operation to push this PMC out of Syria. There was simply nothing else for them to do there; our Ministry of Defense was working and did not attract them. They moved to Africa, to the main groups.
      1. 0
        3 June 2024 20: 15
        ...And the legend needs to be fed!

        (SS Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller, “17 Moments of Spring”).
  5. ksa
    2 June 2024 20: 25
    Open a second front in the rear during the war? Prigozhin. .... But who gave him such an opportunity? Lack of control? Permissiveness?
    1. +1
      4 June 2024 13: 21
      My answer is Shoigu and Co., and those who stand behind them. In fact, they are capitulators and traitors to Russia. If it is not clear to you, analyze all their actions in the SVO.
  6. +5
    2 June 2024 20: 30
    Quote from KLN
    I still can’t come to my senses from the meaty six-month assault on just one city, Artyomovsk-Bakhmut, where Wagner killed 20 thousand men, simply showered them with corpses,

    I’m just too lazy to explain why the Bakhmut meat grinder was conceived, if you can’t understand this, then the Internet will help you. If it weren’t for her line, Surovikin would have been built deep in the rear and tens of thousands of the most frostbitten Nazis wouldn’t have been ground up that Wagner was ground down there along with his equipment. And how Wagner’s cities were taken, this was evident from Popasnaya, Soledar, etc. etc. And we must take into account that Wagner did not have lancets, geraniums and other more modern weapons and the pilots did not clear the way for them with Kabs of 500-1500 kg.
    1. +1
      3 June 2024 01: 41
      What is most pleasing is that at that time no one announced the use of nuclear weapons. Now, after the “successes,” we have to think about ways to survive in the face of the aggressive consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Wagner is, in Russian, the fighting slaves of the current elite. Those of them who decided that they themselves had a mustache quickly lost their lives. Will this form of protecting elite interests be effective? To consolidate its success in appropriating rights to the warmed-up property and income - so be it. For influence on a global scale - I don’t think so. We remember the Italian kings in the Viking Age, who were mercenaries of Byzantium.
    2. -1
      3 June 2024 06: 57
      Question: didn’t you specifically help with CABs and other means of destruction??
      1. 0
        3 June 2024 20: 23
        They all got help. They, as PMCs, received all the heavy weapons from our Defense Ministry, as if on lease. Accordingly, the supply was according to wartime standards. It’s just that their costs for their support requests were much higher. We must also take into account logistics and its establishment. Why was it necessary to give priority to our Ministry of Defense to this PMC, if others also had to be supplied, but to our own in other directions. By the way, a well-paid agreement was concluded between the Ministry of Defense and the PMC for combat missions, what is required of the PMC and its mission, supplies for combat operations from the Ministry of Defense, and so on. So, our Ministry of Defense has fulfilled everything in full on all contractual provisions.
        Well, what about ammunition for guns? So, after the mutiny, a very large amount of necessary ammunition was discovered in the warehouses of this PMC, which for some reason did not reach the front.
        You just need to distinguish between Prigozhin and his activities as a businessman and his headquarters and fighters as a military component. The businessman ruined him.
  7. +1
    2 June 2024 23: 39
    There are many omissions. But the essence of the conflict is still clear - who will protect the oil business.
    Prigozhin was liquidated, and Wagner was no longer needed for protection when the Russian Armed Forces were at hand.
    Logical. Worldly.
    Well, where there is no RF Armed Forces, too far away, the remnants of PMCs have been allowed to stay there for now. Until the Russian Armed Forces take that oil into their own hands...
    The Russian Armed Forces will not guard oil rigs, for example, in Venezuela. And some private security company "33 heroes" - yes please...
  8. +4
    3 June 2024 08: 54
    The story with "Wagner" is somehow murky and did not bring glory to either the Russian Defense Ministry or the President and the Minister of Defense. It left an unpleasant aftertaste in my soul.
  9. +1
    3 June 2024 08: 58
    Yes, there has been a rush of military experts who contradict themselves. Well, who and why storms the city for half a year with such huge losses, which has been strengthened for years, it is first leveled to the ground in its own concrete, and then stormed. Remember how the Americans fought in Syria, razed the city to the ground and there were only a few casualties, and they didn’t care whether it was humane or not, but their soldiers were safe. Why Wagner was in such a hurry and killed so many people, I understand, I don’t want to voice them here for many reasons... Of course, if we had people like in China, then there would be no problem, go ahead and attack... Volunteers are the most motivated warriors and it’s stupid to put thousands like that, it’s criminal, this is a real classic meat assault, the so-called..., even during the Second World War, penal battalion members were sent to such assaults. Prigozhin is personally acquainted with the Supreme Commander, he could have directly contacted and demanded shells and so on, he did so through the media..., with this he wanted to cover up the unjustified huge losses, shift the responsibility to the General Staff, that they were depriving him and putting spokes in the wheels, that’s why they were so huge victims.... I have the right to my opinion, since the time of the Second World War, I do not know a more stupid operation to capture a well-fortified city... It was necessary to bomb with Fabami, roll it into concrete, cut off supplies, encircle it and only then storm it. As an example, Mariupol and its dungeon Azovstal.
    1. 0
      4 June 2024 13: 29
      I am answering as an “expert in military affairs. Against whom did the Americans fight in Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc. The emphasis was placed on aviation, in the complete absence of air defense, against some paramilitary forces in jeeps, with Kalash guns. Now this will not work. Neither I can’t say anything about Bakhmut, but there are also awkward questions with Azovstal.
  10. -1
    3 June 2024 18: 13
    In fact, it is difficult for Uncle Vasya from Kiselevsk and Aunt Zina from Penza to understand what interests they, as Russian citizens, may have in Mesopotamia. But when they hear about internationalism, it is immediately clear, logical and explainable to everyone.

    When I read something like this, I just want to ask, isn’t it funny yourself? This is someone who, upon hearing about international debt, immediately understands everything. But then, many people in the USSR asked about Afghanistan, and when did we manage to owe so much internationally to Afghanistan? The interests of the USSR - I understand, the interests of the Army too, but excuse me, the international duty - no.
    1. 0
      4 June 2024 23: 14
      “Must” is when you borrowed something and are going to pay it back!