Sergey Kuznetsov and the Sergey Kuznetsov Special Training Center

This investigation explores the ties Sergey Sergeevich Kuznetsov (Сергей Сергеевич Кузнецов) has with the Wagner Group, also known as PMC Wagner.

Kuznetsov in November 2022

Using a phone number provided by Wagner Group on its official Telegram channel for a recruiter in Altai Krai, adatabase search revealed that the phone number was registered to a person named Sergey Kuznetsov. The phone number is registered in the city of Barnaul. In addition, inputting the phone number into Telegram shows the account by the name of “Sergey”. The account’s username also contains “Kuznetsov”.

Telegram account (Top) and database search result (Bottom)

Another search of VKontakte found Kuznetsov’s personal profile and the VK profile of the Sergey Kuznetsov Special Training Center, which is also located in Barnaul, Russia. In a post from July 22, 2022, Kuznetsov states that he is the regional recruiter for PMC Wagner in the Altai region. A pinned post on Kuznetsov’s profile contains the same exact number provided by PMC Wagner. Given these circumstances, it is highly probable that Kuznetsov is the regional recruiter for the Wagner Group in Altai Krai. Kuznetsov also frequently posts PMC Wagner related content on his VKontakte page.

Post on Sergey Kuznetsov’s profile (Top), Screenshot from official Wagner Group Telegram channel (Bottom)

The Sergey Kuznetsov Special Training Center

Kuznetsov owns the Sergey Kuznetsov Special Training Center in Barnaul, Russia. The center offers medical, self defense, and military training courses.

On the official website of the company, posts advertise recruitment for PMC Wagner and another states that three of its former trainees were fighting as members of PMC Wagner in Ukraine. In August of 2022, the company held a fundraiser for medical equipment which was donated to the Wagner Group.

Screenshot of a PMC Wagner advertisement taken from the center’s website

The Shooting Range

Multiple videos on social media of the company show Kuznetsov and trainees at a shooting range. The beginning of one video shows a sign of the entrance.

Comparison of images taken from Instagram (Top) and Yandex (Bottom)

JSC Barnaul Cartridge Plant

The Barnaul Cartridge Plant, also known as JSC “BPZ”, is an ammunition manufacturer located in Barnaul, Russia. The shooting range that Kuznetsov conducts training at is owned by the Barnaul Cartridge Plant. The website of the plant states that it has foreign partners in multiple E.U. members and the United States. Given these circumstances, it is noteworthy that Wagner affiliated individuals are allowed to conduct training in areas owned by the plant.

Map of worldwide partners of JSC BPZ

Note: Phone numbers and usernames mentioned in this article are partially obscured to discourage readers from attempting to contact the individuals involved.