Vladimir Putin sends 400 mercenaries to protect Maduro

Russian private security agents, who participate in military operations abroad on behalf of the Kremlin, have arrived in recent days in Caracas to strengthen the Venezuelan President’s safety, sources close to these paramilitary groups told Reuters.

One of these sources, close to the Wagner group, which was heavily involved in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, added that some agents had been present since the presidential election last year and that others had arrived recently.

A leader of another group, the Cossacks, Yevgeny Shabayev, estimated at around 400 the number of Russian mercenaries deployed in Venezuela.

At least 14 people have been killed since the beginning of the new wave of anti-government protests on Tuesday, according to Venezuelan NGOs.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights the man, called for the opening of an independent investigation into the use of force against opposition supporters.

Many opponents fear that Juan Guaido will be arrested, like his mentor Leopoldo Lopez, kept under house arrest since the 2014 protests.