Become Victorious in the Battle for Employment at Burger King: Wagner Fighters Conquer New Challenge in Russia!


Former Wagner Group Mercenaries Struggle to Find Jobs After Returning to Russia from Ukraine

Former members of the Wagner Group, a private military company (PMC), are facing difficulties in securing employment as they reintegrate into civilian life in Russia after their involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. Online forums are filled with stories of ex-mercenaries being denied work, forcing them to settle for low-paid jobs such as taxi drivers, construction workers, and doormen. The rejection of these experienced fighters raises questions about the promises of a fresh start made by the PMC and the challenges they encounter in finding employment.

Promises of Pardon and Recruitment Methods

Wagner actively recruited individuals from Russian prisons, offering them a pardon upon completion of a six-month tour in Ukraine. This recruitment strategy attracted many ex-convicts who saw the opportunity for a clean slate and a chance to rebuild their lives. These mercenaries played a prominent role in the battle for the Donetsk town of Bakhmut. However, despite their contributions and the promised pardon, they are now struggling to secure decent jobs back home.

Image: A man holds a flag bearing the logo of the Wagner Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia on August 25, 2023. Former troops with the mercenary group are finding it difficult to get jobs, it has been reported.

Mutiny and Legal Consequences

Interestingly, the PMC members who participated in a mutiny against Russia’s military establishment led by their late founder, Yevgeny Progozhin, faced no charges following the rebellion. The mutiny ultimately led to Moscow withdrawing Wagner from Ukraine, and the mysterious death of Progozhin in a plane crash widely believed to be ordered by Russian leader Vladimir Putin. This absence of legal repercussions raises questions about the relationship between the Russian state and the controversial PMC, but still does not secure jobs for the former mercenaries.

Exclusion from Employment Opportunities

Despite promises of a fresh start, ex-mercenaries find themselves excluded from various job opportunities. According to independent Russian-language news outlet Mozhem Obyasnit (MO) (We Can Explain) on Telegram, these fighters are being rejected even with their official pardons. One mother named Svetlana shared her son’s experience, stating that he had applied for a job at a new factory in the Kamchatka region that developed kamikaze drones. Despite his official pardon, he was outright refused, with the employer suggesting he search for work elsewhere. Another woman from the Tyumen region shared that her husband, an ex-Wagner fighter, was unable to find employment in security and had to resort to working as an unlicensed taxi driver.

Recruitment agencies are also adding to the ex-mercenaries’ challenges. A military engine plant’s recruitment agency explicitly stated that candidates with convictions for theft, drugs, or murder would not be eligible, even if they had been pardoned. The agency recruiting for Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport disclosed that they were forced to reject candidates due to pressure from Russia’s main intelligence service, the FSB. Even a job agency recruiting for an assistant chef position at a franchisee of the Burger King fast-food chain had no room for ex-Wagner fighters, lamenting that only courier roles were available for them.

Broken Promises and Uncertain Future

Online discussions reveal the discontent and frustration of the ex-mercenaries. Families of these fighters claim that authorities have broken promises of providing a clean slate and a chance for a fresh start. With their hopes shattered and job opportunities limited, these former fighters face an uncertain future.

Moreover, the Wagner Group’s role in Africa is also uncertain. While it provided security services and served as a tool for the Kremlin’s interests in the continent, recent developments indicate the Central African Republic’s distancing from the PMC. This move could potentially affect Wagner’s activities and influence across the entire continent, as observed by the Russian military blogger Rybar on Telegram.


The return of Wagner Group mercenaries to civilian life in Russia has proven to be a challenging transition. Despite promises of a fresh start and official pardons, these ex-fighters find themselves excluded from employment opportunities and forced to settle for low-paid jobs. The difficulties they face raise questions about the nature of the relationship between the Russian state and the controversial PMC. With their skills and experiences, these fighters deserve a better chance at rebuilding their lives.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment on this matter.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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