On Russian mercenaries in Syria has spent up to 10 billion rubles.

Participation in the Syrian war “groups Wagner, a Russian prototype of a private military company (PMC), worth 5.1 billion to 10.3 billion rubles., estimated . Spending took over the government and high-ranking businessmen,” said the officer of the Ministry of defence and two people familiar with the operation. To mention the names of “investors,” sources refuse even in an informal conversation when you turn off the tape recorders.

For the first time about “the Wagner group” and its involvement in the Syrian war in October of 2015, wrote “Fontanka”. The publication claimed that the mercenaries were seen on the South-East of Ukraine, where they took part in the fighting on the side of the breakaway republics. About it wrote and The Wall Street Journal, noting that in Syria among the soldiers of Wagner killed nine people. The Russian defense Ministry this information was then called “surge”.

“The Wagner group” got its name in the Callsign of the head of the group, said four sources personally familiar with the Wagner. The PMC appeared in the middle East shortly before the fall of 2015, Russia began to formally expand its base, said the officer of the Ministry of defense and was confirmed by a source familiar with the progress of the operation. A total of near Latakia and Aleppo were located almost 2.5 thousand people, the operation was controlled by the GRU and the FSB, he said.

Base and fighters

“The Wagner group” training at Molkino (Krasnodar region), where it has the strength of 10-th separate brigade of GRU of the defense Ministry, explained the officer of the FSB and one of the men who served under “Wagner”. PMC does not pay the rent of buildings and land, say two people familiar with the device of the camp.

The contents of the database, as well as other military units is on balance of the Ministry of defence. Tenders for services for garbage collection and transportation of linen, sanitary services, cleaning, heat packs held to several tens or hundreds of military units, grouped on a territorial basis. On average in 2015-2016, the Agency spent on one part of the military 14.7 million rubles excluding classified contracts, from procurement documentation six auctions, which refers to the base in the Krasnodar region.

In several tenders for the maintenance of the base was part of the company relevant to the St. Petersburg restaurateur Eugene Prigogine: this is the company “Megaline” and “Teplosintez”. Contracts for the supply of food in part on the public procurement portal has not been published, however, related to Prigogine firm “Restoranservis Plus” published the announcement on the recruitment of people to work in the canteen of the military unit in Molkino.

Co-owners “Megaline” until the end of 2015 was “the Concorde Management and Consulting” and “Lahta”, which owned 50%. Until mid 2011 the owner of a 14 percent stake in the first company was Yevgeny Prigozhin, and until September 2013, he controlled 80% of “Lakhta”. “Teplosintez”, according to “Fontanka”, is driven by employees Megaline”. The phone number Restoranservis Plus” coincides with the numbers of two firms related to Prigogine, — “Megaline” and “Concord Management and Consulting”.

Prigogine owned by the company “the Concorde M is one of the main suppliers of power to manage the Affairs of the President of Russia, and the plant food “Concord” serving the Moscow school. Firms Prigogine are almost monopolists in the market of school feeding of the capital, and one of the largest service providers for the Ministry of defense: the company imported food and do the cleaning in military units.

The salaries of the soldiers “group, Wagner was paid in cash, officially, they never have been issued, and the procurement of weapons and equipment classified, explains the officer of the defense Ministry and confirmed by two people familiar with the operation.

Talking about the salaries of fighters, the sides bring similar numbers. According to the driver running in the Krasnodar territory, the civil get about 60 thousand rubles. per month. A source familiar with details of the military operation indicates that the unit PMCs who are based in Russia, can count on 80 thousand rubles per month and up to 500 thousand rubles plus a bonus in the combat zone in Syria.

The salary of a member of the PMC in Syria rarely exceed 250-300 thousand rubles., said in a conversation with an officer of the Ministry of defense. With a minimum threshold of 80 thousand rubles, he agreed, and average salary for the average is estimated at 150 thousand plus combat and compensation. When the maximum number of “groups Wagner 2.5 thousand employees their salaries from August 2015 to August 2016 could range from 2.4 billion (80 thousand) to 7.5 billion RUB (with a monthly payment of 250 thousand rubles.).

Gear and compensation

The cost of equipment for each soldier can reach $1 thousand, travel and accommodation will cost the same amount per month, said Boris Chikin, co-owner of a private military company Moran Security Group. Thus, the cost of the presence of the 2.5 million people in Syria without taking into account the salaries can reach $2.5 million per month, or about 170 million rubles (at the average annual dollar rate of 67.89 RUB, according to the Central Bank).

Maximum spending on food during the Syrian campaign could amount to 800 rubles. per person per day, estimated Alexander Tsyganok, head of Center for military forecasting Institute of political and military analysis. From this evaluation it follows that food for 2.5 thousand fighters could do in the amount of 2 million rubles.

Major losses on the Russian side in Syria is just the PMC, said the source familiar with the details of the operation. Their data on the number of dead vary. Employee of the Ministry of defense insists that only in the middle East killed 27 “privateers.” One of the former officers of PMC says at least 100 deaths. “From there, every third “hundred” every second “three-hundredth”, — said the employee base in Molkino (“cargo-200” and “cargo 300” — the legend for the transportation of the body of the deceased and wounded soldier, respectively).

Normal compensation to the relatives of the deceased soldier up to 5 million rubles, said a source familiar with the structure of the PMC (the same given to the relatives of the military personnel of Russian armed forces fatalities during the fighting). But getting them is not always easy, insists friend killed in Syria, “owner”: often families literally have to get money. Officer of the Ministry of defense specifies that for deceased family member family will receive 1 million rubles., for wounded soldiers pay up to 500 thousand rubles.

Taking into account wages, supply base, accommodation and catering annual maintenance of the group of Wagner” can cost between $ 5.1 billion to 10.3 billion rubles Lump-sum spending on equipment — 170 million rubles compensation to the families of the victims with minimal loss, from RUB 27 million.

In “Restoranservis Plus”, “Megaline”, “Teplosintez” and “Concord Management” did not answer for a query . The defense Ministry also did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more “Ghosts of war: in Syria there was a Russian private army”

With the participation of Elizabeth Surnacheva