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Sié Chéou-Kang CenterPrivate Security Monitor

An expert from ArmorGroup (left) trains local members of the Nepal and Maoist Armies on the safe removal of unexploded devices.
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In Syria, a Russian Ex-Commando Dies in the Shadows  
The Wall Street Journal|  27 February 2018
> A former special-forces soldier in the Russian military who later fought in eastern Ukraine, Mr. Kosoturov was in Syria as a member of a private military company known as the Wagner group, his friends say. According to two Russian officials and a former member, the Wagner group was sent there by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and the most prominent of the 13 Russians indicted this month for interfering in the U.S. presidential election.

Russian mercenaries reportedly want revenge after getting whooped by US forces in Syria  
Business Insider |  27 February 2018
> France 24 published an interview last week with a man it described as a Russian paramilitary chief who provides Russian citizens access to mercenary work in Syria in which he said his countrymen had been galvanized by reports that they were taking an embarrassing loss to US forces.

Russia's Mercenary Debacle in Syria  
Foreign Affairs |  26 February 2018
> The next week, information began to emerge that many of those killed were Russian mercenaries contracted to the Wagner Group, a private military company with close ties to the Kremlin. A pair of Russian-language audio recordings described 200 dead Wagner fighters; other sources gave casualty figures as high as 600.

What we know about the shadowy Russian mercenary firm behind an attack on U.S. troops in Syria  
The Washington Post |  23 February 2018
> One of the most complicated episodes in Syria's ever-twisting war took place the night of Feb. 7. In that incident, U.S. troops and their Syrian allies near the town of Deir al-Zour were attacked by hundreds of fighters loyal to the Syrian regime. The Americans responded with a devastating counterattack that the United States said left about 100 dead. Soon, the situation was complicated further by reports that Russian mercenaries had taken part in the attack and were among the dead — making it the deadliest U.S.-Russia clash since the Cold War.

Uniforms of private security guards to be standardised  
Myanmar Times |  22 February 2018
> Uniforms of employees of private security companies will be streamlined to a specification to be determined by national police, the Ministry of Home Affairs said Wednesday.

WaPo: Key Russian oligarch in touch with Russia, Assad before mercenaries attacked US troops  
CNN |  22 February 2018
> Before a Russian mercenary attack on US and allied forces in Syria earlier this month, the Russian oligarch believed to control the mercenaries -- a man who the US special counsel indicted last week -- was "in close touch" with Russian and Syrian officials, The Washington Post reported Thursday evening. The Post, citing US intelligence reports, said intercepted communications showed the oligarch, Yevgeny Prigozhin, told a Syrian official he had "secured permission" from a Russian minister for a "fast and strong" initiative.

Putin's "Erik Prince" is Tied to Soem of Russia's Riskiest Covert Operations  
Vice News |  21 February 2018
> Moscow pushed back hard this week against any notion that the indictment of 13 Russians proved the Kremlin was involved in a conspiracy to influence the 2016 U.S. election. But it’s hard to find a private Russian citizen who looks more deeply involved in the Kremlin’s clandestine foreign operations than Yevgeny Prigozhin, the oligarch known as “Putin’s cook,” who allegedly starred in the caper.

Russia admits dozens of Russian casualties in Syria battle  
BBC News |  20 February 2018
> Russia's foreign ministry has confirmed that "several dozen" Russian citizens - not regular soldiers - were killed or wounded in a recent battle in Syria. The statement did not give a date. Previously the Russian government said "probably five" Russians had died in a clash in Deir al-Zour province. Some reports have said more than 100 Russian mercenaries were killed in US air strikes on 7 February.

Putin’s shock troops - how Russia's secret mercenary army came up against the US in Syria  
The Telegraph |  18 February 2018
> The assault on Conoco oilfield near Deir Ezzor earlier this month ended in disaster, sparking the first deadly combat between Americans and Russians since the Vietnam War and embarrassing Vladimir Putin just weeks before an election.

Dozen Emirati troopers, tens of Saudi mercs slain in abortive assault on Yemeni base  
Press TV |  18 February 2018
> At least twelve servicemen from the United Arab Emirates Army and tens of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, have been killed when they launched an offensive on a military base in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta'izz.

Hiding in plain sight: Russia's private mercenaries and the lengths Moscow goes to deny them  
The Independent |  18 February 2018
> For a private army without an official name, and in a country where its activity is illegal, we already seem to know a lot about Russia‘s Wagner. We apparently know where their soldiers are trained (a newly built compound in Krasnodar Krai, near Ukraine); how much they earn (up to 200,000 roubles, seven times the Russian average); where they fought (a list that includes Ukraine); how many of them are there (1,500-2,000); and when and where they died. We have learned all this from investigations using social media and other open sources – sources that the Kremlin seems unable to block.

US forces kill Kremlin mercenaries in battle for Syrian oilfields  
The Sunday Times |  18 February 2018
> The exact death toll remains unclear, although several western officials in the region told The Sunday Times that the number lay between 60 and 160. It was an unprecedented clash between the Russians and the Americans and one of the deadliest for Russian fighters for decades.

U.S. still unsure who directed Syria attack, despite Russian dead  
Reuters |  18 February 2018
> The United States is still unsure who directed a Feb. 7 attack on U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday, even as he acknowledged accounts that Russian civilian contractors were involved. Reuters has reported that about 300 men working for a Kremlin-linked Russian private military firm were either killed or injured in Syria. The U.S. has estimated about 100 pro-Syrian government forces were killed by U.S. strikes to repel the Feb. 7 attack.

Putin is trying to downplay the deaths of Russian mercenaries in Syria  
Vice News |  16 February 2018
> Now, amid spiraling reports that Russian mercenaries suffered up to 300 casualties as a result of U.S. airstrikes against pro-Assad forces last week, Putin’s opponents have seized on the issue to hammer the Kremlin. The rising toll marks the first clear indication that Putin may have underestimated the costs of intervening in the Syrian conflict, Anna Borshchevskaya, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told VICE News.

Putin’s Shadow Army Suffers a Setback in Syria  
The New Yorker |  16 February 2018
> For the first time in fifty years, U.S. and Russian military forces have engaged in direct combat. Soldiers from the two countries last clashed during the Vietnam War, when Soviet soldiers shot down U.S. warplanes with anti-aircraft weapons. As would emerge later, among those killed were up to a hundred Russian citizens who were fighting in Syria as private military contractors, a shadowy mercenary force whose presence in Syria is not officially recognized by the Kremlin.

Hundreds of pro-Assad Mercenaries and Russian Troops Killed by U.S. Strikes in Syria This Month  
Haaretz |  14 February 2018
> Russian fighters were among those killed when U.S.-led coalition forces clashed with pro-government forces in Syria this month, former associates of the dead said on Monday - however the majority of casualties are believed to be hired mercenaries from para-military company Wagner.

Fifteen Russian security staff killed in Syria explosion  
U.S. News |  14 February 2018
> A senior lawmaker says the Russian parliament is working on a bill to regulate private military companies, a statement that comes amid reports about an unknown number of Russian military contractors killed in a U.S. strike in Syria.

Fifteen Russian security staff killed in Syria explosion  
The Guardian |  14 February 2018
> Fifteen Russians employed in Syria by a private security company have been killed after an explosion rocked an arms depot at their base in the country, according to a monitoring group.

Russia is using mercenaries to make it look like it's losing fewer troops in Syria  
Business Insider |  13 February 2018
> A senior lawmaker says the Russian parliament is working on a bill to regulate private military companies, a statement that comes amid reports about an unknown number of Russian military contractors killed in a U.S. strike in Syria..

Increased private security guard killings in Eldoret raise concerns  
Hivisa |  12 February 2018
> The Kenya National Association of security guards has raised concerns over the increased killings of guards while on duty in Eldoret town. Association's Uasin Gishu branch chairman Peter Odima further said most of the killed guards are not Union members making it hard for their families to be compensated.

Kolkata: Private security business reels under GST burden  
The Times of India |  12 February 2018
> The post-GST regime, which levies security agencies 18% tax, and misgivings about a proposed Bill aimed to streamline this sector is not only pushing up costs but rendering several people jobless.

Experts warn of rise in number of fake security officers  
Daily Nation |  11 February 2018
> Security experts have cautioned against the big number of quacks operating in the industry, and thus comprising the safety of Kenyans. Under the banner of Association for Corporate and Industrial Security Management Professionals of Kenya, they noted the cons took advantage of lack of regulations and established networks to survive.

SIS India bags contract for security arrangements at Cwealth  
India Today |  09 February 2018
> Games in Brisbane Patna, Feb 9 (PTI) Leading private security provider SIS India today bagged the contract for security arrangements at the Commonwealth Games scheduled in Australia this year, a company release said here.

SIS India bags contract for security arrangements at Cwealth  
CBS News |  08 February 2018
> "Pro-regime" forces that attacked a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters in northeastern Syria -- and were hit in return by U.S. airstrikes -- included Russian mercenaries, according to a Pentagon official. If Russians are among those who were killed, this would mark the first time a U.S. airstrike has killed Russians in Syria, CBS News' David Martin reports.

SIS India bags contract for security arrangements at Cwealth  
CBS News |  08 February 2018
> "Pro-regime" forces that attacked a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters in northeastern Syria -- and were hit in return by U.S. airstrikes -- included Russian mercenaries, according to a Pentagon official. If Russians are among those who were killed, this would mark the first time a U.S. airstrike has killed Russians in Syria, CBS News' David Martin reports.

How South Korea Is Securing the Winter Olympic Games  
Security Sales & Integration |  08 February 2018
> Tens of thousands of security personnel will protect the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, along with interceptor drones, facial recognition systems, a surveillance blimp, smart security cameras and more.

Russian Operatives Possibly Among Assad Regime Elements Targeted In US Counterattack  
The Wire |  07 February 2018
> The U.S. military says members of the American-backed coalition fighting ISIS in Syria, most likely U.S. special operation forces, and their local partners have come under attack in Eastern Syria from forces allied with the country's dictator Bashar Al Assad. Details remain thin, but the United States is reportedly investigating whether Russian mercenaries or Iranian militias may have been involved in the incident.

Federal Hill businesses looking to hire private security for commercial district  
The Baltimore Sun |  07 February 2018
> Federal Hill businesses are looking to deploy private security teams around the South Baltimore neighborhood’s bars and shops by April 1 to deter crime and make residents and visitors feel safer.

Russian hackers targeting US defense contractors: report  
The Hill |  07 February 2018
> Hackers with cyber-espionage group Fancy Bear used phishing emails to target no less than 87 contractors working on military technology projects such as drones, missiles and fighter jets for the U.S. government, according to the AP.

Winter Olympics: Soldiers replace security staff after norovirus outbreak  
CNN |  06 February 2018
> Dozens of private security guards at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea have been taken to hospital with norovirus, prompting organisers to call in soldiers as guards instead.

Security: NSCDC warns public against patronising illegal private guard companies  
Vanguard |  05 February 2018
> The Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr Abdullahi Muhammadu, on Monday in Lagos, warned the public against patronising unlicensed private guard companies, stressing that they posed a security risk.

Russian military reveals identity of pilot shot down in Syria  
CNN |  05 February 2018
> The deaths of Russian military contractors -- widely reported to be on the ground in Syria, but not officially acknowledged -- are also not disclosed, he added. The Kremlin often downplays its ground presence in Syria, preferring to present its intervention as a largely bloodless air war. "Russian military officials selectively announce Syria casualties, often withholding names or giving them only after the media do so," Leviev said. "Private military contractor casualties are never admitted by the MoD."

Mexico protesters fear US-owned brewery will drain their land dry  
The Guardian |  04 February 2018
> Since the new year, unrest has flared up again after riot police and private security guards clashed with protesters who had blocked the construction of a new water pipe to the factory. Dozens of activists have set up a protest camp near the construction site, with huge signs reading “Constellation go home”.

Security guard accidentally fires gun outside bank in Hyderabad, injures two  
Hindustan Times |  03 February 2018
> Two private security guards were injured when their colleague accidentally fired his gun at Begumpet area on Saturday morning, police said.

Blackwater and the Corporate Mercenaries who’ve changed the rules of war  
Nation of Change |  01 February 2018
> With enough paperwork cloaking them, private military and security companies work in the shady cracks of the justice system, where they flaunt their mercenary role with no fear of punishment. No matter what they now call themselves, they are soldiers of fortune.

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