Title

Helsinki Commission to Host Briefing on Kremlin Mercenaries Abroad

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following briefing:

PUTIN’S SHADOW WARRIORS
Mercenaries, Security Contracting, and the Way Ahead

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
10:00 a.m.
Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2359

Live Webcast: www.facebook.com/HelsinkiCommission

Reports of shadowy Russian mercenaries in unexpected locations have grown more frequent and alarming. Yet western understanding of the Kremlin’s use of private contractors—useful to Moscow for their deniability and relatively low cost—remains limited.  Policy responses can be complicated by the potential conflation of Russian organizations, like the Wagner Group, with the private military and security companies used by the United States and its allies.

At this Helsinki Commission briefing, experts will shine a spotlight on the Kremlin’s destabilizing use of mercenaries around the world; clarify the difference between Moscow’s approach and that of the United States and its allies; and review efforts underway internationally, within the OSCE and elsewhere, to develop and promote norms that would govern the use of private security and military companies. 

Panelists scheduled to participate include:

  • Dr. Deborah Avant, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver; author of The Market for Force: the Consequences of Privatizing Security; director of the Private Security Monitor
  • Dara Massicot, Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation; former senior analyst for Russian military capabilities at the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Col. Christopher T. Mayer (U.S. Army, Ret.), former Director of Armed Contingency Contractor Policies and Programs for the U.S. Department of Defense, responsible for the department's utilization of private security companies
Media contact: 
Name: 
Stacy Hope
Email: 
csce[dot]press[at]mail[dot]house[dot]gov
Phone: 
202.225.1901
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