As the chaos in Venezuela continues, with two men claiming to be the rightful president, Russian private military contractors (PMCs) are allegedly already on the ground working for socialist Nicolas Maduro. Their mission is speculated to be executive protection for Maduro, according to a report from Reuters. Numerous governments, including the United States and Canada, have officially recognized Juan Guaido as the country’s new interim-president, however, Moscow seems to be backing the current socialist regime.
“The fact that U.S. policy towards Venezuela and other countries in the region is destructive is, in my opinion, self-evident. Open calls for a coup d’etat are known to everybody,” said Sergi Lavrov, Russia’s current Foreign Minister while speaking to reporters, according to Reuters.
The contractors are believed to be employed by the Wagner Group and are likely ex-Russian soldiers. The mercenary organization made the news in early 2018, when a clash between the group and the United States in Syria resulted in the Russian side suffering heavy casualties. The U.S. claimed self-defense after the group launched an assault on a Kurdish airbase, according to the BBC.
Fighting over who is the real president of Venezuela is expected to occur at the next meeting of the United Nations Security Council. According to Reuters, the U.S. asked for a special meeting of the 15-nation group this weekend, and many of the member-countries are likely to throw support behind Guaido. However, both Russia and China have made significant investments in Venezuela, and China appears to be backing Maduro as well.