O grupo Wagner e a responsabilidade internacional da Federação Russa
: a privatização da guerra entre ‘o fim da história’ e o advento da multipolaridade

  • José Edgar Alheia Cabreira (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


While recourse to 'soldiers of fortune' has been with humanity since time immemorial, the privatization of war, stricto sensu, emerges as an innovative phenomenon, simmering manifestation of global capitalism. Its complexity, dynamics and scope are such that, in the new millennium, it seems capable of portraying the contemporary evolution of armed conflicts, with its effects spreading not only to the legal regulation of present-day wars, but also to the changes of course taken by international relations. Once the dissonance is demonstrated with respect to jus in bello norms that, ideally, apply to them, it is urgent to discern the challenges posed by Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) devoid of legal personality. What challenges will this new privatization cycle present, which surrounds the Kremlin and is based on an organic existence, premeditatedly shrouded by illegality? What is the effective relationship of these 'private' groups with the Russian government and Moscow's foreign policy, and how can the latter be held internationally responsible for the acts of the former? Preceding the sanctioning moment – usually post-conflict and necessarily multidimensional – rules of attribution assume an unavoidable centrality, determining the International Responsibility of States. Convening dissenting jurisprudence, the Wagner Group case renews the terms and context of the debate, before the responsibility gap that States seek to create by all means. Hence, it demonstrates the limitations of the ICJ preferred effective control standard, whilst (re)legitimizes the broader ICTY overall control test.
Date of Award21 Jul 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMaria Isabel Tavares (Supervisor)


  • Privatization of war
  • Private military and security companies
  • International humanitarian law
  • Russia
  • Wagner
  • Yevgeny Prigozhin
  • International responsibility of states
  • Attribution
  • Control
  • Due diligence


  • Mestrado em Direito

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