Since 9/11, the United States has experienced an incredible inflation of Private Military Contractors.  Meanwhile, both allies and adversaries have noted this development, inspiring them to start their own Private Military Companies.  In the last week we have seen an interesting story about a small Jihadi group in Syria attempting to brand themselves as a PMC, however, the bigger mercenary threat emanates from Russia.  While we hear quite a bit about Russian troops in Syria, more often it is Russian mercenaries who do the fighting and then Spetsnaz gets brought in for the cameras after the fact. -Jack

A few weeks ago, an ad appeared on VK, the biggest Russian social networking site. “Men, you have the opportunity to work for our homeland,” the first sentence reads. The salary: “50,000 rubles a month if you remain at headquarters in Russia; 80,000 rubles if you are sent abroad, plus bonuses.” That’s the equivalent of between 700 and 1,150 euros. The ad ends with the words: “Fight the good fight, soldiers of fortune.”

The man who published the ad calls himself Ilya Ivanov. His job is the recruiting of mercenaries. And there is much to suggest that Ivanov is keeping himself quite busy these days building up a private army. He is currently on the search for men who, in exchange for a salary, are willing to head for new battlefields in 2017 to implement Russia’s interests.