Yep. Now - your evidence? This will not do, of course: Military roles and operations that happened are not evidence of mercenary operations and roles that did not. You need information. - - - - No kidding. Funny how that works. Hard power can be self supporting - that's fascism's SOP. When you can't see fascism coming, that's part of what you can't see. Putin can see it. How else can Russia, with a kleptocratic economy about the size of Italy's and essentially no soft power, keep its place at the power tables?