Report: Russian Military Contractors Arrive in Venezuela as Chaos Looms


Private military contractors who perform secret missions for Russia reportedly flew into Venezuela during the past few days to strengthen security for embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

Reuters reported this information based on three unnamed sources.

“Russia, which has backed Maduro’s socialist government to the tune of billions of dollars, this week promised to stand by him after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president with Washington’s endorsement,” according to the news outlet.

Yevgeny Shabayev, leader of a local chapter of a paramilitary group of Cossacks with ties to Russian military contractors, told Reuters he understands the number of Russian contractors in Venezuela may be about 400, but other sources indicated there are smaller contingents of contractors.

The security personnel are associated with the so-called Wagner group, made up of ex-military members, who have clandestinely fought in support of Russian forces in Syria and Ukraine.

'We're Going to Have Some Convictions of Donald Trump' Before Election, Alan Dershowitz Says

Shabayev said that Russian contractors flew first to Cuba in chartered aircraft, and from there, they transferred to commercial aircraft for the last leg to Venezuela.

“One of the two anonymous Russian sources, who is close to the Wagner group and fought in foreign conflicts where it was active, said the contractors first arrived in advance of the May 2018 presidential election, but another group arrived ‘recently,'” Reuters reported.

Based on a review of flight-tracking data, the news outlet discovered a “number of Russian government aircraft landing in or near Venezuela during the past weeks, though there was no evidence the flights were connected to military contractors.”

CNBC reported that Venezuela has become a point of geopolitical tension between the U.S. and Russia, with the Trump administration backing Guaido and Moscow siding with Maduro.

Do you believe the U.S. should help force Maduro to step down?

“Experts are now drawing parallels between the contest for influence over Venezuela’s political and economic future with the battle over regime change in Syria in recent years,” according to CNBC.

Over the weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the case before the United Nation’s Security Council to recognize Guaido as the legitimate interim president of the country.

Nine nations voted in favor of convening the emergency session, while four voted against it, including Russia and China.

Devastating Market Explosion That Zelenskyy Blamed on Russia Was Actually Caused by Ukraine, New Evidence Indicates

Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of seeking to install a government of its liking.

“Regime change is a favorite geopolitical game of the United States,” he said, according to a UN media release.

Nebenzia further warned the Latin American members on the council — which includes the Dominican Republic and Peru — that their nations could be next on the U.S. target list. Both voted with the United States for convening the emergency session.

The ambassador characterized the matter as an “internal situation.”

“We do not see any external threats in the situation of Venezuela,” Nebenzia said.

Pompeo countered many neighboring names are being impacted by the large scale humanitarian crisis, due to the number of Venezuelans who have fled into them.

According to the UN, some 3 million Venezuelans are now living abroad.

CNBC reported that the U.S. announced sanctions on Tuesday against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company in an effort to cut off funding to the Maduro regime.

Both Russia and China have called the sanctions illegal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , ,
Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith