Michael Shirley
Europe, Russia & Eurasia, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

CERES graduate Michael Shirley's essay selected for the National CASIS-CSIS Essay Competition

Michael Shirley's essay examines the role of the private military company( PMC), Wagner, during the first year of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. He wanted to discover what purpose a PMC served if Russia was planning to utilize its traditional armed forces. Through the analysis of pro-Russian and Wagner affiliated chat rooms on the Telegram social media platform, he discovered, in short, that Wagner out-performed the traditional Russian forces and were incredibly effective in promoting Russian propaganda despite the shortcomings of Russia’s forces.