Decoding the Wagner Group: Analyzing the Role of Private Military Security Contractors in Russian Proxy Warfare


Russian private military security contractors (PMSCs) are pivotal players in ongoing proxy wars in the Greater Middle East and its periphery. Their covert operations—real and imagined—are also critical in shaping Russia’s strategy for escalation management as well as relations with adversaries and allies. This report, the product of a joint New America and ASU Center on the Future of War initiative to study proxy warfare examines what social media and other digital traces combined with interviews and other research can tell us about Russian PMSCs and their role in Russian proxy warfare strategy.