Wagner Group refuses Ministry contracts amid Russia’s defence directive

The Wagner Group, a Russian private military company, has declined to sign contracts with the Russian defence ministry, despite a directive issued by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The order, aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the Russian army fighting in Ukraine, required all “volunteer detachments” to sign contracts with the ministry by the end of June. Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin stated that the order did not apply to his organisation and argued that its efficient command structure would be compromised by reporting to Shoigu.

The Wagner Group has gained notoriety for its involvement in destabilising countries across Africa while exploiting natural resources. Prigozhin insists that the group is entirely subordinate to Russia’s interests but has criticised President Vladimir Putin’s top military brass for their handling of the war in Ukraine.

The defence ministry’s directive was intended to provide volunteer formations with legal status and create unified approaches to their organisation and task fulfilment. Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov believes these measures will increase the combat capabilities and effectiveness of the armed forces and their volunteer detachments.

Prigozhin anticipates that the ministry may use Wagner’s refusal to comply with the order as grounds to withhold supplies. However, he remains confident that the group will manage without assistance, stating, “when the thunder breaks, they will come running and bring weapons and ammunition with a request to help.”

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Matthew Coles

Matthew is a British journalist with a unique flair in reporting about the latest news and events happening in Europe. Matthew focuses on producing well-researched, balanced, and narrative-driven content related to both national and regional interests across various European countries. He is passionate about discovering the diverse cultures found within Europe and showcasing them through his insightful articles.

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