Russia’s Wagner uses Facebook, Twitter to hire for fighting operations: Report

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Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has been posting job ads on social media to hire new recruits for its fighting operations, including in Ukraine, according to a Politico report.

Sixty job ads to hire medics, drone operators as well psychologists have been posted in several languages, including in Spanish and French, on Facebook and Twitter, Politico reported citing a research finding.

According to Logically, a British company that fights disinformation, the ads garnered 120,000 views over the last ten months, the report added.

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The ads included “information about fighting, IT, driving and medical positions apparently available with Wagner.” It listed several phone numbers and Telegram accounts as contact details and offered monthly salaries of $2,968 (240,000 rubles) with health care.

One ad in French said Wagner employees receive “paid time off, healthcare, well-paying jobs and the opportunity to work all over the world,” while another touted “life insurance” and the opportunity to work for “a team focused on efficiency and winning.”

A tweet in Indonesian advertised a call “for volunteers from 22 to 55 years old to work at PMC Wagner.”

Politico’s report noted that researchers could not confirm the posts are Wagner’s.

However, it added, citing the head of research for Logically, that the language used was “the exact same language as previously verified Wagner accounts on places like Telegram or VK,” a Russian social networking service.

According to an analysis from a Western government official, at least two phone numbers listed in the posts are “linked directly either to Wagner or to Russia’s intelligence service.”

When approached for a comment on the posts, Twitter responded with an automated emoji, Politico said, while a Meta spokesperson replied that Wagner cannot have any presence on Meta’s platform because it is categorized as a “dangerous” group.

“We designated the Wagner Group as a dangerous organization, meaning it cannot have a presence on our platforms,” the spokesperson said, adding that the company deletes material that include “praise or substantive support for Wagner when we become aware of it, including posts that aim to recruit for them.”

The Wagner Group has in recent months played an increasingly prominent role in Russia’s war in Ukraine, with the mercenary force spearheading a months-long assault on Bakhmut.

On May 20, the group’s head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed full control of Bakhmut and said his forces would withdraw from there after handing over control to the Russian army.

Priogozhin said later in May that around 10,000 prisoners he recruited to fight in Ukraine have been killed on the battlefield.

In December, Reuters reported that the US intelligence community believes that Wagner had 40,000 convict fighters deployed in Ukraine, making up the vast majority of the group’s personnel in the country.

With Reuters

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