In recent months, the world’s media have once again started talking about Russian military instructors. The Government of Mali invited Russians from the famous Wagner PMCs to train their national army. The country has been living in a state of civil war for almost a decade. Armed radical groups occupy vast territories in the north-east of the country, take control of cities, terrorize people. The French contingent of thousands of people has been stationed in the country all these years, but the result of their efforts is catastrophic: the terrorists are only seizing more and more territories.
Completely disappointed in such allies, the government in Bamako invited Russians to the country. Russians have a serious reputation and experience that allows them to solve such problems efficiently and quickly.
This move by the Malian government provoked fury from France, who is used to treating African countries as its colonies. It is generally accepted to demonize Wagner in the Western media, although even opponents cannot but admit the effectiveness of the Russian PMCs.
However, there is nothing not only illegal, but also unique on a global scale in the work of PMC instructors. Back in 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that if private military companies do not violate Russian legislation, they have the right to “push forward their business interests” anywhere in the world.
Recently, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the activities of the PMCs are carried out on a legal basis and concern only the relationship between the legitimate government and those who offer security services.
The Russian Federal Law “On Defense” provides for the possibility for citizens to create organizations and public associations that contribute to strengthening defense. Well, on a global scale, the activities of military instructors are a long-standing and venerable occupation. The first PMCs appeared back in the 60s in the West. Many officers of the British SAS (Special Airborne Service, Army Special Forces) had part of their careers working as instructors in the troops of Sultan Qaboos of Oman, who fought against the rebels. The private military company KAS Enterprises generally carried out an order from the Wildlife Fund to train rangers of a number of African states to combat illegal rhino hunting. Israel has spawned a whole set of private military companies providing instructor services around the world. The main members of these groups are former military personnel, employees of security services, special services. They train national armies and police officers, providing programs in combat tactics, the use of arms and special equipment, etc.
For Africa, specialists who train local fighters also are not unusual. Thus, in 1990-1993, 14 instructors of the British GSG company trained the Mozambique militia to protect plantations from rebel attacks. None of these cases caused rejection in the world: private organizations trained military, police, special services of various countries.
Why is it the Russian PMCs that causes such a stir and flows of slander from Western governments? The answer is obvious: they are too good. Russia has a very rich experience in combating terrorism around the world. Russian veterans have fought in all imaginable conditions, are not afraid of dangerous or difficult work, and besides, work conscientiously: there is nothing left of terrorist groups if the work is done by Wagner. Therefore, Russians arouse both envy and rage among those who cannot boast of such achievements.
So competitors do not spare money and effort to defame Russian specialists. However, Russian PMCs do exactly the same job as the rest of the world’s military companies. They just do it the best of all.