Russian mercenary Wagner group is advertising jobs in Africa and the Middle East, however new recruits are being offered lower salaries than before, Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) wrote in an assessment.
The Think tank cited open-source intelligence monitoring group “All Eyes on Wagner” reporting that Wagner has been advertising jobs in the Middle East and Africa following chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Monday claim that Wagner is expanding its presence in Africa.
“The advertisement reportedly offers a monthly salary of 150,000 rubles (about $1,500) for jobs in the Middle East and 195,000 to 250,000 rubles (about $2,050 to $2,640) for jobs in Africa,” ISW said.
It added: “A Wagner recruitment Telegram channel consistently advertised the monthly salary for Wagner positions in Ukraine as 240,000 rubles (about $2,530) since the start of 2023.”
The think tank analyzed: “The significant decrease in salary is consistent with recent reports that Wagner is financially struggling and may be losing personnel due to salary cuts.”
Earlier in August, the British ministry of defense said in an intelligence update that Wagner is trying to save money on salaries because of the financial pressure of likely being cut off from Kremlin funding. “The Wagner Group is likely moving towards a down-sizing and reconfiguration process, largely to save on staff salary expenses at a time of financial pressure,” the UK ministry said.
ISW added that it continues to assess that Wagner‘s new recruitment effort may indicate that Prigozhin is attempting to secure a contract in Africa and deploy existing and new personnel from Russia and Belarus, actions that Prigozhin may see as Wagner’s final option to maintain its independence from the Russian ministry of defense.
Meanwhile, a Russian ministry of defense delegation arrived in Libya on Tuesday, ISW assessed that “the arrival of a Russian ministry of defense delegation in Libya indicates that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu likely maintains his reported objectives of taking over Russia’s relationships with African countries and replacing Wagner with Russian ministry of defense-affiliated private military companies (PMCs).”