Mercenaries In Ukraine: Omega Consulting Group

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By GEORGE ENGLEHART Grey Dynamics

1.0 Introduction

The is a Ukrainian (PMC) with a growing role within the privatised military sector. Their impact in the Russia-Ukraine War has likely played a crucial role in battlefield outcomes. Moreover, its emphasis on training and maximising capability for its trainees and themselves has made Omega unique within the PMC industry.

2.0 Motto, Symbols, Patches and History

Since 2011, Omega has assisted companies, organizations, and governments by supporting and developing their projects in sensitive areas. Their operations throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Europe have benefitted clients in wide-ranging industries and foreign and Ukrainian governments.

2.1 Motto

The company's main slogan is “Corporate security, Specialized training, Military consulting”, which clearly describes the operations of the organisation.

2.2 Patches

Omega's official patch is a distinct one which exists in some variations. The traditional patch shows a globe in the background of a bear's head. Below the globe, and bear's head is a vertical dagger crisscrossed by two arrows. The patch itself is eight-sided and in some variations “Octagon” is the text written along the bottom. In most variations of the patch, “Omega Consulting Group” is written in Ukrainian or English, along the top border of the patch.

Winter training photo from Omega Consulting Group's Facebook Page.

3.0 Organization

3.1 Place within broader government or other structures

Omega is capable of consulting, training, or conducting security operations for governments, NGOs, multinational corporations, and individuals. Whilst Omega works closely with the Ukrainian state, it is an independent organisation with the freedom to follow its own goals and vision.

3.2 Financing

Their primary source of finances comes through contracts with their clients such as governments, NGOs, or major corporations. Omega's worldwide presence and range of capabilities have allowed them to offer their services to a wide range of clients. As should be noted, many of the weapons used by Omega in the field and for training come from a variety of sources. Additionally, some are recovered from the battlefield and some come from foreign aid.

3.3 Business Structure

In addition to defence training and operations, the company actively works with the civilian sector to develop business relationships in Ukraine and abroad. In doing so, Omega helps promote Ukrainian national interests and strengthen the country's competitiveness in global markets. According to its website, the main civilian sectors with which they work are:

  • Food sector
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Mining industry
  • Steel industry

Omega is a member of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In essence, this allows Omega access to 8000 members and over 1000 representatives of business from all parts of Ukraine. Importantly, this partnership has allowed them to cultivate a civilian sector portfolio that is highly diversified and enables them to be most effective in supporting Ukrainian commerce.

3.4 Key Figures

3.4.1 Andrei Kebkalo

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Omega Consulting Group is Andrei Kebkalo. 

3.4.2 Tatiana Kebkalo

The Managing Director of Omega Consulting Group is Tatiana Kebkalo, the wife of the founder Andrei Kebkalo. Tatiana Kebkalo, whose traditional job was as a lawyer, works with Omega as an instructor in weapons handling, anti-tank weapons, UAVs, and demolition. Moreover, she has been operating as a sniper since the start of Russia's widened invasion of Ukraine in 2022. (source)

3.5 Recruitment

Their primary means of recruitment is through their online application. When applying for a specific job, prospective recruits are interviewed and reviewed to ensure they are sufficiently qualified for their role. Also, many of their personnel come from the ranks of armed forces in countries like Ukraine, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Often, these personnel are experts in a field that is directly relevant to the company's mission and goals.

Notably, Omega also recruits through active duty and recently separated veterans alongside more traditional means of recruitment such as job postings and social media outreach.

Requirements vary depending on the position they hire for. In general, Omega seeks subject matter experts or highly skilled individuals for each position. Omega employs experts in the areas of survival, evasion, resistance, and escape to train military personnel to be as effective on the battlefield as possible.

Individuals from around the world can work for Omega as they primarily seek proficient instructors and operators who can uphold the standard of quality in knowledge transfer and operations.

3.6 Connections to other important organizations

Omega has many prominent clients with whom they have offered their security services and others with whom they have worked closely in training and operations. Some of the organizations that Omega has provided security services to include:

  • Lifecell (Ukrainian telecommunications company)
  • IFES (International Foundation for Electoral Systems)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • USAID
  • IMF (International Monetary Fund)
  • The World Bank
  • The Canadian Embassy

What is more, Omega has also closely worked with both the Ukrainian Ground Forces and the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. In this capacity, Omega has provided training in a wide range of defence tactics and skills and has also worked alongside these forces in the defence of Ukraine against Russia.

3.7 Involvement of other key organizations/actors in this unit

While they have worked closely with the Ukrainian military, they remain a privately owned and operated company that provides its services to a wide range of public and private clients.

Training photo from Omega Consulting Group's Facebook Page.

4.0 Equipment

Omega has utilised and trained personnel on a wide range of military equipment to achieve its mission and provide the highest quality of security and defence services. According to the company, they mostly rely on Western weapons systems.

4.1 Weapons

  • AK-pattern assault rifles
  • M4-WAC-47 assault rifles
  • Zbroyar Z-10 sniper rifles
  • SV-98 sniper rifles (captured throughout the invasion)
  • SVD sniper rifles
  • FGM-148 Javelin man-portable anti-tank systems
  • NLAW man-portable anti-tank systems
  • PTKM-1R top-attack anti-vehicle landmines

4.2 Vehicles

  • FIONA 6×6 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles
  • Mercedes-Benz sedans (especially for executive protection training and missions)
  • Mercedes-Benz Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs)
  • Other armoured vehicles
  • Various forms of boats
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Various aircraft
  • Kamikaze UAVs

4.3 Optics

To be most effective in training and security operations, Omega has utilized a range of optics on weapons. They primarily use ACOG and holographic sights on rifles and a range of long-range optics on sniper rifles.

4.4 Armor and Kit

They have also equipped their trainees and operators with modern chest plates and primarily single-tube night vision goggles. Following support from the West, the use of dual-tube night vision goggles. These goggles provide a significant advantage over adversaries and allow organizations like Omega to train individuals to be as effective as possible.

Training photo from Omega Consulting Group's Facebook Page.

5.0 Tactical-Operational Information

Omega provides services throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Europe for its varied clientele. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022, Omega has increased its operations and training in Ukraine in support of its military, foreign fighters, and civilian sector. According to the company, officially they do not participate in combat operations in Ukraine.

5.1 Operations

They are involved in a wide range of operations. They have most commonly been involved in the following:

  • Maritime security
  • Air security
  • Land security
  • Cyber Defense
  • Jurisprudence
  • Intelligence
  • Specialized training
  • Import and export of military equipment

According to the company, it has also been involved in intelligence collection based on the needs of its clients. The company has engaged in both HUMINT (human intelligence) and SIGINT (signals intelligence). Furthermore, Omega has also been involved in Rescue and Extraction operations in Crimea, Burkina Faso, Mali, and other countries.

5.2 Core Purpose

According to their website, the main strategic vision and goals vary based on the area of operations they are in but fundamentally, their goal is to:

  • Achieve excellence in academic and operational training
  • Provide and operate military fleets for Ukraine and other foreign countries

In Ukraine, Omega is focused on supporting those fighting for Ukraine, from everyday citizens and foreigners to its special operations forces. Within the conflict, Omega provides highly valuable training in explosives and drone operations. While not officially acknowledged, it appears that they have conducted clandestine operations of their own in support of Ukraine. Omega's founder, Andrei Kebkalo, described how Ukraine's clandestine operations often provide symbolic as well as strategic benefits.

Their core purpose regarding the conflict in Ukraine is to achieve peace and repel the Russian invasion. Tatiana Kebkalo shared in an interview how her dream for the future is peace in Ukraine. Omega's role in the conflict has been to ensure the safety of Ukrainians and be a powerful fighting force to protect Ukraine's sovereignty.

5.3 Tactics

Omega has used its personnel in two main ways that are publicly acknowledged through its social media pages:

  • Military experts deployed to train others on weapons systems and tactics
  • Clandestine operation training with Ukrainian military forces

Their personnel train on the most effective means of warfare, especially through the use of drones, explosives, and anti-tank weapons. Though their clandestine operations have not been acknowledged by company leadership, their influence and capability on the battleground are corroborated by scholars and foreign fighters. 

5.4 Personnel size

The company has 32 employees with around 150 contractors. The number of contractors at any one time can vary, allowing the company flexibility to increase the number of personnel when required. The number of operators they have trained in Ukraine is around 2,000 which demonstrates Omega's ability to transfer knowledge from a smaller group of subject matter experts to a large number of fighters.

This instruction includes all aspects of warfare, especially drones, explosives, and utilizing various heavy weapons. With such a demand for instruction, Omega has developed intensive and expedited courses, such as TCCC courses, to get more highly trained individuals back into the fight.

6.0 The Future For Omega Consulting Group

The future outlook for Omega is substantial. Their operations and training in Ukraine are currently drawing most of their efforts. The War in Ukraine has stressed the capabilities of Ukraine's military and its allies and as the conflict continues, support from Omega will be necessary for Ukraine's war efforts. They provide a critical component to Ukraine's military as their expertise in marksmanship, explosives, artillery, drones, and anti-tank and anti-armour has been a difference maker in the conflict thus far.

The use of drones in the Russia-Ukraine War is extensive and the creativity required to continue to make them effective is something that Omega can provide through their training or their operations. Their personnel includes experts from the armed forces of Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and South Africa, among others. Although little is known about the clandestine operations conducted by Omega in Ukraine, their close relationship with Ukraine's special forces emphasizes the importance of their covert work for Ukraine.

As the conflict in Ukraine wears on and as Omega's presence throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Europe evolves, their role seems to be moving more towards a focus on training military personnel and conducting operations in war zones. While their work for private organizations and NGOs has proven to be valuable and widely used, their proven impact in Ukraine has shown how well they can leverage their personnel and knowledge to affect an outcome in favour of their partner forces.

7.0 Conclusion

Omega Consulting Group plays an important role in Ukraine, for the country's interests abroad but especially at home with the war against Ukraine. Their status as a private corporation with a wide-ranging clientele has allowed them to demonstrate how they are capable of providing diverse and precise security solutions around the world.

Their role in warfare, protection of corporate interests, and promoting Ukrainian businesses have shown how wide their reach is and how they can provide highly valuable services.

Find the original article in its entirety on Grey Dynamics.

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