In Season 1, Episode 9 of the Guns for Hire podcast, host Alia Brahimi is joined by the Russia analyst Sergey Sukhankin. They discuss the arrest in Libya of the Wagner Group operative Maksim Shugaley and the propaganda campaign to free him, broader information and media operations in Africa, and the re-emergence of Wagner Group remnants on the frontlines in Ukraine. Sergey and Alia also delve into a range of related topics, including Russian policy in the arctic, the Chinese private security industry, and the Chinese leadership’s shock that a country like Russia, which has invested so much in its military-industrial complex, should depend on mercenary formations for influence.
“This goes back to Soviet times when the Soviet Union was inviting people like [George] Bernard Shaw and many other public figures… Today Russia is using virtually the same playbook.”
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About the podcast
The Guns for Hire podcast is a production of the Atlantic Council’s North Africa Initiative. Taking Libya as its starting point, it explores the causes and implications of the growing use of mercenaries in armed conflict.
The podcast features guests from many walks of life, from ethicists and historians to former mercenary fighters. It seeks to understand what the normalisation of contract warfare tells us about the world as we currently find it, but also about the future of the international system and about what war could look like in the coming decades.
MENASource Jun 28, 2023
The Wagner rebellion is over—for now. But how will the events reverberate in the Middle East and North Africa?
By Mark N. Katz
The June 23-24 rebellion led by Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin—aimed, he claimed, at replacing the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov (not Russian President Vladimir Putin)—has ended. However, reverberations from it are likely to continue being felt beyond Russia, such as in the Middle East and North […]
MENASource May 11, 2023
Experts react: Sudan at the crossroads—where the conflict goes from here
By Benjamin Mossberg, Alia Brahimi, Thomas S. Warrick, Shahira Amin, R. Clarke Cooper
Atlantic Council experts react to the conflict in Sudan and discuss how it will impact the region and beyond.
Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.