The leader of the Wagner Group of mercenaries is using the Russian assault on the Donetsk town of Soledar to "elevate his political stature and indirectly criticize the conventional Russian military," according to an update published by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
About Wagner Group
- What is it? The Wagner Group also known as PMC Wagner is a Russian paramilitary organization.
- Origin: The group is believed to have been founded in 2014 by a Russian veteran of the Chechen war who so admired Hitler he named the group after Richard Wagner, the führer's favorite composer.
- The skull is the symbol of the Wagner Group.
- The organization first came to the world's attention in 2014, fighting alongside Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
- The organization has also been active across Africa in recent years — Libya, Sudan, Mozambique, Mali and the Central African Republic.
- Today there are thought to be some 10,000 Wagner Group members.
- The U.S. government has called Wagner a "proxy force" of Russia's defense ministry.
What does the term ‘führer’ mean?
- Führer, also spelled Fuehrer means leader.
- It is a title used by Adolf Hitler to define his role of absolute authority.
- As early as July 1921 he had declared the Führerprinzip (“leader principle”) to be the law of the Nazi Party.
Q1) Where is Donbas region located?
The Donetsk and Luhansk regions — collectively known as the Donbas — are in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russia.