Hard Numbers: Russian uprising edition – Wagner’s ranks, Ruble tanks, Rostov’s neighbors, Pugachev’s echo
50,000: Wagner Group is believed to have about 50,000 armed men in total. Some of them are hardened combat veterans, but many have been recruited from Russian prisons. Prigozhin has led about half that number in Ukraine and those are the men he took on the march to Moscow.
84: Coups are generally bad for currencies. The ruble fell to a value of 84 per U.S. dollar on Friday, as traders worried that Russia might plunge into civil war. Russian business outlets said major banks were offering an exchange rate of closer to 100 to the dollar.
60: Rostov-on-don is located just 60 miles from the Ukrainian border, and it is home to the Russian southern military district command, whose 58th Combined Arms Army is heavily engaged in trying to stop Kyiv’s counteroffensive in Southern Ukraine.