Posts Tagged Ukraine

Russia: Their Many Uses Of ‘Private Military Companies’…

Russian Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin on Wednesday supported the idea of private defense companies that would provide protection services and military training programs abroad without the participation of the Russian state.
The idea was proposed by A Just Russia deputy Alexei Mitrofanov during Putin’s report to the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.
Putin said that was “an instrument in the pursuit of national interests without the direct participation of the state.” “I believe that it should be considered, thought over,” he said. -11/04/2012 Riavososti

This is another post I wanted to get out there in regards to what has happened in the industry. The events in the Ukraine have put some more light on Russia’s use of PMSC’s, and also puts some light on how PMSC’s could be used as a propaganda tool.

Specifically, ACADEMI was mentioned in multiple propaganda pieces as supporting the Kiev government with training and ‘mercenary’ services. It was even mentioned that there were 400 elite US commandos from this company, fighting Russian separatists. lol

I am laughing because there would have been an avalanche of chatter on all of the forums and Facebook/Linkedin pages if this was true. You don’t just fire up a 400 man army like this and it not get out amongst this community. Especially if it paid well.

Even ACADEMI had to post a press releases to counter this ridiculous claim. The State Dept, who issues the licenses necessary for PMSC’s to go overseas and do training had to beat down this idiotic propaganda as well in statements. Really, I don’t think anyone in the west believed this stupid story.

But unfortunately, their propaganda efforts were able to reach those that are not savvy online or care to believe otherwise. All war is deception as Sun Tzu would say… Russia was absolutely implementing a social media campaign as a part of their battle plan to take Crimea and justify occupying parts of the Ukraine. That effort is still ongoing and we will see what eventually happens with the Ukraine.

Also expect attacks on Gazprom pipelines, and that reality will require protective services by Gazprom’s massive security apparatus.

The point is, that social media and war is standard business now, and you see combatants all over the world using social media and propaganda to prepare their battlefields and psyche out their opponents. It works if done properly, and just ask the cartels in Mexico or ISIS in Iraq how it is working out for them.

The other part of this story that is not being talked about is Russia’s focus on firing up their own private military industry. Something that can rival the west’s PMSC industry. This is very interesting to me, because it is another market to study and watch. It is also a huge money maker–private security in Russia is said to be a 7 billion dollar market.

Although there has always been a PMSC sector in Russia, and especially after the end of the Cold War. What is interesting though is that I keep picking up on hints here and there of PMSC’s getting support at some very high levels in Russia. Probably because it is a force that can be used by men in power to do things that a standing military could not do. (please note the quote by Putin up top)

For example, a company in the country of Transnistria could be contacted and asked to recruit folks to be ‘pro-Russian separatists’ in the Ukraine. To work with Russian special forces that are also posing as Russian separatists, wear ski masks to mask their identity, and fuel the grass roots movement and divisions within the country using violence. Sounds farfetched? Well that is exactly what some are speculating, and it would make sense to me, purely base off of what the leaders of Russia have said in the past.

Below I have posted recent news on efforts to further legitimize PMSC’s in Russia. To give them the legal authority necessary to operate, and to even use in other countries. This is not new and I posted stuff about Russia’s intent back in 2012. David Isenberg wrote a post on it as well. EA games did a pretty good series on PMSC’s in Russia.

Although I should note that Russia has had some recent embarrassing incidents with the use of PMSC’s in other countries. For example, The Slavonic Corps and their actions in Syria come to mind. Perhaps Russia’s recent legislation and licensing will help to control future ‘Slavonic Corps’ from happening?  Who knows, but I do know that Russia is continuing to explore the many uses of private military companies and we will see where that takes them. -Matt

 

Russian Special Forces operating in the Ukraine and assisting separatists. They are referred to as ‘The Little Green Men’. Weapon is a 9K115 Metis ATGM.

 

Russian ‘Blackwater’? MPs call for local security industry loophole
June 27, 2014
By Iliya Pitalev
Nationalist party LDPR deputies have drafted a law on private military companies to the regional legislature of North Russia’s Pskov. If approved, the draft will be forwarded to the federal parliament.
The authors of the document claim it was born out of the necessity for capable and specialized commercial organizations to enforce national interests in cases when international politics or law prevent the government from using regular military forces.
“The crisis in Ukraine in which the provisionary government in Kiev is actively using Western military contractors in its interests, demonstrate the acute necessity for similar institutions in Russia,” reads the explanatory note published by the Pskov regional legislature.
According to the lawmakers, there are over 450 private military contractors in the world, with 70 percent of the services provided by the US and British companies. These firms solve many foreign policy problems for Western governments, and at the same time bring additional taxes to their national economies.
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Cool Stuff: Asgarda–Women In The Ukraine Create A Modern Day Tribe Of Amazons

Crazy stuff here. But it also shows how bad things are in that region when it comes to gender oppression. For these women to run to the mountains and form such a highly defensive warrior tribe indicates to me that obviously there are some issues there. Now the question I have is when will these modern day Amazons make the jump from swords and scythes, to firearms and modern combat arms training? Interesting stuff. -Matt

 

In the Ukraine, a country where females are victims of sexual trafficking and gender oppression, a new tribe of empowered women is emerging. Calling themselves the “Asgarda”, the women seek complete autonomy from men. Residing in the Carpathian Mountains, the tribe is comprised of 150 women of varying ages, primarily students, led by 30 year-old Katerina Tarnouska. Reviving the tribal traditions of the Scythian Amazons of ancient Greek mythology, the Asgarda train in martial arts, taught by former Soviet karate master, Volodymyr Stepanovytch, and learn life skills and sciences in order to become ideal women. Little physical documentation existed on the tribe, until recently, when renowned French photographer, Guillaume Herbaut, met the Asgarda back in 2004 in the midst of the Orange Revolution.
Story here.
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Fight club
Imagine the Girl Guides with racier uniforms accessorised with pickaxes, chains and scythes and what have you got? Answer: a women’s youth movement sweeping Ukraine
By Sally Howard
12 Sep 2010
It’s 5.30am and dawn is breaking in the Carpathian Mountains. Morning mist garlands the mountaintops as the sun rises over a view that’s as old as the hills: headscarved babushkas push carts of hay by hand, white-tailed eagles circle drowsily above and the air is scented by the ancient spruces of Europe’s last stretch of virgin forest. Only the rumble of cargo trains driving west to Hungary disturbs this bucolic scene. That and the peals of three bikini-clad girls as they jump into the frigid Dniester, the fast-flowing river that courses south across the length of eastern Ukraine to the Black Sea.

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Libya: Ukraine Seeks Libya ‘Mercenaries’ Release

Very interesting. So are these guys mercenaries or just oil workers? If anyone has anything to add to this story, feel free to do so in the comments. -Matt

 

Ukraine seeks Libya ‘mercenaries’ release
10 April 2012
Ukraine has said it is doing all it can to secure the extradition from Libya of 19 of its citizens accused of being pro-Gaddafi mercenaries.
The group, which also includes three Belarusians and two Russians, was formally charged on Monday, eight months after they were detained.
The 24 accused insist they were working as oil industry contractors.
One of the Russians has told the BBC that their release could already have been secured through diplomacy.
In a phone interview, Aleksandr Shadrov, 59, told the BBC Russian Service that they had all been in Libya purely to service oil rigging equipment and that a good lawyer would “easily refute the case”.
They deny the charges of preparing land-to-air missile launchers to shoot down planes taking part in the Nato-led mission to protect Libyan civilians.
The Russian embassy in Libya has told the BBC that it is doing all it can to secure the release of its citizens. Belarus says its three citizens had signed contracts to operate civil facilities in Libya and it is co-ordinating its efforts with the Russian and Ukrainian embassies.
The Ukrainian authorities said negotiations between Kiev and the Libyan authorities were already under way. A spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry said a possible extradition of its 19 citizens was on the table, even though the two countries had no formal treaty.

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News: Update-Somali Pirates Say They Will Fight Commando Raid

 Ship held hostage

 The Ukrainian ship MV Faina off the coast of Somalia.

Somali pirates say they will fight commando raid

By MOHAMED OLAD HASSAN 

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somali pirates on a hijacked cargo ship holding battle tanks and hostages said Thursday that they were ready to battle any commando-style rescue attempt.

The warning came a day after the Somali government gave foreign powers a blank check for using force against the pirates, while U.S. warships continued to circle nearby and a Russian frigate headed toward the standoff.

“Anyone who tries to attack us or deceive us will face bad repercussions,” the pirates’ spokesman, Sugule Ali, told The Associated Press by satellite telephone from the Ukrainian ship MV Faina.

Ali sounded calm and relaxed despite being surrounded by a half dozen U.S. Navy vessels and buzzed by American helicopters.

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News: Somali Pirates Seize Ukraine Ship Carrying Tanks

     I was contemplating on wether or not to classify this as Funny Stuff or Piracy or News.  These knuckleheads captured a ship with T-72’s and small arms on board, and now they have US and Russian naval ships after them.  The pirates even have a ‘pirate spokesman’ to negotiate– that is just too funny.  

     But really, how embarassing is this, to have a couple guys with AK 47’s hijack a ship filled with this kind of military equipment?  Maybe they should have taken a Dishka off one of those tanks, and put it on the bow or something? LOL  -Head Jundi

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Somali Pirates Seize Ukraine Ship Carrying Tanks

 

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

Published: September 26, 2008

 

NAIROBI, Kenya — For a moment, the pirates might have thought that they had really struck gold — Somalia-style.

The gun-toting, seafaring thieves, who routinely pounce on cargo ships bobbing along on the Indian Ocean, suddenly found themselves in command of a vessel crammed with $30 million worth of grenade launchers, piles of ammunition, even battle tanks.

But this time, they might have gotten far more than they bargained for. Unlike so many other hijackings off the coast of Somalia that have gone virtually unnoticed — and unpunished — the attack Thursday evening on the Faina, a Ukrainian vessel bringing military equipment to Kenya, has provoked the wrath of two of the most powerful militaries on the planet.

The United States Navy was in hot pursuit of the ship on Friday. And the Russians were not far behind.

“This is really getting out of control,” said Mohammed Osman, a Somali government official in Kenya. “You see how many countries are involved now? These pirates aren’t going to get away with this.”

Somalia’s 1,880-mile coastline is crawling with pirates, a serious problem given that so much of the country is dependent on emergency food aid, which comes mostly by ship. Thieves seem to strike with increasing impunity, grabbing everything from sailing yachts to oil tankers. They then usually demand millions of dollars in ransom for the ships and their crews.

And people usually pay — which Somali and Western officials say is fueling the problem. This year is one of the worst on record, with more than 50 ships attacked, 25 hijacked and at least 14 currently being held by pirates. The waters off Somalia are now considered the most dangerous in the world.

As for the Faina, it may have looked liked the kind of slow-moving, easy prey that pirates have hit time and time again. But its booty was not the kind that can be easily pawned off at port.

Each tank weighs more than 80,000 pounds. The pirates would need special training, not to mention special equipment, to offload them — assuming, of course, that they could make it to port safely with the Navy on their tail.

The pirates are often former fishermen who have turned to the more lucrative work of plying the seas with binoculars and rocket-propelled grenades. They travel in light speedboats, deployed from a mother ship far out at sea, and they have attacked ships as far as 300 miles from shore. Pirates even tried to attack an American naval supply ship earlier this week. The navy ship fired warning shots at them. The pirates sped away.

“These pirates are getting bolder ever day,” said Andrew Mwangura, the program coordinator of the Seafarers’ Assistance Program in Kenya, whose organization tracks pirate attacks.

Somali officials say the pirates are growing in numbers, with more than 1,000 gunmen at their disposal, and they have evolved into a sophisticated organized crime ring with their headquarters along the rocky shores of northern Somalia. There is even a pirate spokesman (who could not be reached for comment on Friday.)

One official close to the Somali government described the pirates as an oceanic “mafia” and said they had netted millions of dollars, which they use to buy fancy cars and big houses.

“Paying the ransoms is just making this worse,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Mr. Mohammed, the Somali official in Kenya, said “this is not a Somali problem. This is an international problem. Shipping across this entire region is imperiled by this.”

European countries and the United States have tried to crack down on piracy, with different navies patrolling the waters and escorting United Nations-chartered ships bringing much needed food to Somalia. Twice this year, French commandos have stormed hijacked ships and freed French yachts.

On Friday, Kenyan and Western officials said that an American warship was steaming toward the hijacked ship to intercept it, and the Russian Navy announced that it too was sending a warship, named the Dauntless. It could lead to a showdown with the pirates, and with that many hostages aboard a floating ammunition dump, things could get complicated.

The Kenyan government, one of America’s closest allies in Africa, had purchased around $30 million of arms from Ukraine.

“This is a big loss for us,” said Alfred Mutua, a spokesman for the Kenyan government.

The ship, which is registered in Belize, was supposed to pull into Kenya’s Mombasa port on Monday morning. But on Thursday around 5 p.m., when the Faina was about 200 miles off shore, it was surrounded by three speedboats, according to the Interfax news service. Communication was suddenly cut off. It was a typical pirate tactic.

According to the Ukrainian foreign ministry’s Website, there were 21 people aboard, including 17 Ukrainians, three Russians and a Latvian. An official at the Mombasa port said the ship, was carrying 2,320 tons of “project cargo,” a term that is usually used to describe heavy machinery.

But according to diplomats and the Russian Interfax news agency, the cargo was 33 T-72 refurbished tanks, “quite a significant amount of ammunition” and grenade launchers. The supplier was a state-owned Ukrainian company. Ukrainian and Kenyan officials emphasized that the arms deal was perfectly legal.

Somalia’s pirates usually dock their ships in isolated coves, ferrying people and cargo back and forth in dinghies, which are not exactly ideal for transporting 80,000-pound, solid-steel tanks.

“ If there are tanks on board,” said one Western diplomat in Kenya, “I don’t think there’s a chance in hell they can get them unloaded.”

More worrisome, he said, was the prospect of the small arms, like the grenade launchers, getting funneled to insurgents battling the Somali transitional government.

In the past week, insurgents linked to Somalia’s ousted Islamist movement have waged withering attacks on government forces in the capital, Mogadishu. Dozens of civilians have been cut down in the crossfire, and thousands are fleeing the bullet-pocked city once again.

Somalia has been enmeshed in chaos for 17 years, since the central government collapsed and clan warlords carved the country into fiefdoms. The fighting, however, has intensified since December 2006, when Ethiopian troops invaded the country and overthrew a grassroots Islamist movement that controlled much of Somalia.

Ethiopian and American officials said the Islamists were sheltering Al Qaeda terrorists, and the American military helped the Ethiopians hunt down Islamist leaders.

The United Nations World Food Program has said that the conflict and recent drought have pushed millions of Somalis to the edge of famine. More than 3 million people, nearly half the population, need emergency food to survive. Pirates have threatened the pipeline of food into the country because of the constant hijackings on the high seas.

Michael Schwirtz contributed reporting from Moscow, and a Somali journalist from Mogadishu, Somalia.

 

Story Here

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