Historical comparisons with contemporary events are always risky, particularly with regard to warfare. But two historical patterns in the use of mercenaries in Europe can provide insights into the role that private military contractors like the Wagner Group play within the Russian political system, and how that might evolve over time.
Papua New Guinea’s national elections were marred by violence and disenfranchisement, raising concerns about the state of the country’s democracy. Nevertheless, Prime Minister James Marape’s reelection is a sign of hope for the political system’s continuity. Now Marape’s task will be to meet the public’s high expectations.
Because the Wagner Group has such an established reputation, many took claims made earlier this year that the group would deploy to Burkina Faso at face value. However, rumors about Wagner rarely square with reality. The actual evidence that the group will imminently deploy to Burkina Faso is far from conclusive.