The leader of the Wagner Group, a private military company, has rejected Moscow’s effort to assume control over the organization
Share this:

In response to Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s attempt to bring all Russian “volunteer” units under his command, the leader of the private military company Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has stated that his forces will not sign any government contract as directed.

Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov had previously announced that all volunteer units would be required to sign a government contract by July 1, with over 40 units expected to formalize their legal status in this manner.

The Defense Ministry’s move was seen as an effort to gain control over the paramilitary organization, which has played a significant role in the conflict in Ukraine.

In an audio recording released on his Telegram channel, Prigozhin expressed his frustration, stating that Shoigu has the authority to make decisions concerning the ministry and its soldiers but is incapable of leading Wagner troops.

Prigozhin affirmed that his private military company would not enter into any agreements with Shoigu.

He acknowledged that this decision might result in his Wagner company temporarily not receiving weapons and ammunition, but he believed this would only be the case until the ministry required the assistance of his private army.

Simultaneously, Prigozhin emphasized that he answered directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the commander-in-chief and acted in Russia’s best interests.

Prigozhin accused Shoigu and Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov of incompetence in light of a series of defeats during Moscow’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to Prigozhin, his mercenary army coordinated combat missions with Gerasimov’s deputy, Sergei Surovikin, whom he described as intelligent, experienced, and committed to achieving a high level of effectiveness and success.

There has been no official response from Moscow regarding Prigozhin’s refusal to enter into a formal government agreement. As a trusted confidant of Putin, Prigozhin is considered untouchable in Russia.

Shoigu’s representative, Pankov, had previously explained that incorporating non-military units into the Defense Ministry was aimed at enhancing Russia’s military capabilities and ensuring the efficient deployment of its forces.

It was suggested that this move would also result in improved equipment for the troops. However, there have been consistent reports of Russian soldiers expressing dissatisfaction with insufficient equipment. Prigozhin further emphasized that every fighter in Wagner was in a better position than those in the Russian army.

Source: With Agencies

Share this:
All comments.