PUTIN has resorted to recruiting Neo-Nazis and football hooligans to form his own private army – the ruthless Española group. By gathering die-hard football fans across Russia, the group’s leader Orlov Stanislav – dubbed “The Spaniard” – has created a military unit that has fought in some of the most intense battles of the Ukraine war. Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence confirmed last month that Putin’s United Russia had officially granted the group the status of private military company (PMC). The unit recruits football thugs, particularly those closer to the Nazi ideology, as well as civilians from poor parts of Russia and occupied territories. (…) “Española appeals to a unique subset of Russia’s far-right militarist ecosystem and is distinct from the neo-Nazi Rusich organisation and the hard-line Orthodox Russian Imperialist Movement. (…) While various rogue mercenary groups have emerged since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Española has gradually started to form since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The group – previously associated with the militant group Vostok Battalion – was operating mainly in the Russian-held region of Donetsk. The group’s leader is Stanislav Orlov, 43, is a prominent figure among CSKA fans. (…) Dr Hall notes the “shady” group does not have a strong social media presence – unlike Wagner- but explains how they use Telegram to target recruits. He added: “It’s quite a shady group whereas in Wagner they very ran their social media campaign Espanola doesn’t have a social media footprint. “That always leads to the question of who is behind them, and who is protecting them and I say the Ministry of Defence.” (…) Apart from Wagner which was hit by the death of its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin last summer, other smaller paramilitary forces include Ptok, by energy giant Gazprom, Redut, the Patriot, the Orthodox Brotherhood, ENOT. They all operate around the world and recruit all types of soldiers – seemingly with Russia’s support.

via thesun: TERROR OF THE TERRACES Putin resorting to ‘Española’ private army of neo-Nazis and football hooligans run by warlord dubbed ‘The Spaniard’

screenshot-t-me-2024-02-18-16-08-23 – screenshot telegram