Support The Moscow Times!

Wagner Resumes Recruitment Under New Leadership – Reports

A Wagner Group recruitment billboard. Alexander Ryumin / TASS

Russia's Wagner mercenary group has resumed recruiting fighters in at least two regions months after the death of its founder and longtime leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, local media have reported.

Wagner halted recruitment in the chaotic months following Prigozhin's late-June mutiny against Russia’s military leadership. In August, Prigozhin and his close associates were killed in a plane crash that is widely believed to have been an assassination plot orchestrated by the Kremlin. 

According to the online news outlets and, the private military company has started to recruit fighters as part of Russia's National Guard (Rosgvardia) in the central Perm region and the Novosibirsk region in Siberia.

“The emblems and symbols remain the same,” an anonymous Wagner spokesperson was quoted as saying by, while the Novosibirsk outlet was told by another Wager source that the new “contracts are signed not with the Defense Ministry, but Rosgvardia.”

It was unclear if new recruits would be sent to fight in Ukraine. 

Prigozhin’s 25-year-old son Pavel is reportedly heading the new National Guard unit under the nominal title of “Wagner.”

Wagner, which had recruited prisoners alongside volunteer fighters, played a key role in Moscow's capture of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut earlier this year. 

In July, Russia’s Defense Ministry required all “volunteer detachments” to sign contracts with the military — a demand vehemently opposed by Prigozhin.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more