Wagner Group Using Facebook, Twitter to Recruit New Members: Report

  • The Wagner Group has turned to Facebook and Twitter in search of new recruits, Politico reported.
  • The paramilitary organization is apparently looking for new members around the world.
  • Wagner forces suffered heavy losses in the fighting in Bakhmut. 

The Wagner Group — the Russian paramilitary organization serving as fodder in Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine — is using American social media platforms to recruit new members around the globe amid staggering losses in the east, according to a Tuesday Politico report.

The mercenary group, which has fighting operations in countries around the world is casting a wide net in its search for future recruits, advertising open positions in social media posts translated into several languages, including French, Vietnamese, and Spanish, the outlet reported this week, citing exclusive research from Logically, a disinformation-focused research group.

Job postings linked to the Wagner Group garnered nearly 120,000 views across Facebook and Twitter over the last ten months, according to Politico.

Kyle Walter, the head of research at Logically, told Politico that while he couldn’t be certain the social posts were directly from the Wagner Group, the online adverts resembled previous posts made by verified Wagner accounts on Telegram and Russian social media.  

A Western government official, meanwhile, told the outlet that at least two phone numbers included in the social media posts were linked to either the Wagner Group or Russian intelligence. 

A spokesperson for Meta did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, while Twitter responded to Insider’s request with an automated poop emoji. 

The mercenary group is apparently looking to fill a wide range of open positions, with postings focused on fighting, IT, driving, and medical roles, including psychologists, according to the research viewed by Politico. Many of the advertisements appeared to paint a picture of cushy jobs among the Wagner crew, with promises of “paid time off, healthcare, well-paying jobs and the opportunity to work all over the world,” as well as “good bonus for results,” according to Politico.

The group boasted salaries of 240,000 rubles per month, or the equivalent of $3,192, according to Politico.

Even before the Russia-Ukraine war, the Wagner Group was involved in fighting throughout Central Africa. But the organization rose to mainstream prominence in recent months after offering convicted Russian prisoners a chance at freedom in exchange for their fighting in Ukraine.

Since then, the group and its soldiers have played an outsized role in the attritional warfare in Bakhmut, which Wagner forces finally helped capture earlier in May after a monthslong, bloody battle. But the victory came at a cost — Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed the mercenary group suffered troop losses likely upwards of 20,000.

The group, it can be assumed, is in dire need of new bodies.

The research firm cited by Politico spent a month earlier this year analyzing the likely Wagner posts beginning as far back as July 2022 and found 60 such advertisements. 

A French-targeted posting promises new recruits would receive life insurance and work with a “team focused on efficiency and winning,” while a post in Indonesian included a call to action from Prigozhin, himself, inviting volunteers ages 22-55 to join the group, according to the outlet. 

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