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Russia has fired the commander of a private military company, Valdimir Surovikin, following reports that the company was conducting illegal activity in the Middle East. The Wagner Group, the company in question, has been linked to military activity in Ukraine, Syria and Libya, all without the knowledge of the Russian government. Surovikin had been in charge of the company since 2016, and some of the speculations about the move have credited Kremlin’s desire for more influence in the region.

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