Where there are failed states, precious minerals, raw materials and young people without a present or a future, there is Wagner. He is named after the composer, but there is no room for confusion. It sings the music of bombs and bullets and it is a private army at the service of Vladimir Putin, now deployed to extend, also outside of Ukraine, the war that the Ukrainians suffer directly.
Wagner is both antique and pure modernity. He recruits mercenaries as if he were a medieval warlord and sends them to kill and die for a wretched soldier for the benefit of his condottiero, the ex-convict and supplier of the Kremlin, once feasts and now cannon fodder, Yevgeny Prigozhin. His multinational crime is unique. He uses the most sophisticated weapons, including hybrids of disinformation. He sells security to dictators around the world, but especially in Africa and the Middle East, in exchange for predatory access to uranium, diamond or rare earth deposits. He helps drive out and replace Western troops in counter-terrorism missions. And to elude the scrutiny of justice and international organizations.
He has every reason to act this way, including his criminal record. No one has committed greater and more infamous misdeeds in our time than his first client, starting with the crimes of aggression against Ukraine -also against Chechnya, Syria and Georgia-, of the same type that led to the scaffold the leaders of Germany and of Japan in 1945 and 1946 at the end of World War II. And to this first client is due the largest contract of such an abject company, which is none other than to achieve in Ukraine what the Russian regular armies cannot.
The Russian privatization of the war is reaching unusual levels, parallel to the subrogation to Wagner of international action, both economic and military. The Russian state, meanwhile, is withdrawing like a pest from the civilized territory of rules and treaties, legality and institutions. All that remains is for the boss and mogul of the underworld to throw Putin out and be himself the one who settles in the Kremlin.