Yevgeny Prigozhin once again questioned the Russian Army and assured that the Wagner group will not sign any contract with the Defense Minister

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Putin’s mercenaries, once again questioned the actions of the Russian Army in Ukraine (Concord Press Service / via REUTERS) (CONCORD PRESS SERVICE /)

The most powerful mercenary in Russia declared this Sunday that its Wagner group fighters will not sign any contracts with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigupublicly rejecting an attempt by the Ministry of Defense to subject its fighting force to its rule.

Yevgeny Prigozhinfounder of Wagner, repeatedly questioned the president’s military leadership Vladimir Putin for what he describes as treason for not having adequately fought the war in Ukraine.

Neither Shoigu nor the chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimovhave publicly commented on insults by Prigozhin, whose forces seized the Ukrainian town of Bakhmut in May after a battle that killed tens of thousands of people.

The Defense Ministry claimed on Saturday that Shoigu ordered all “volunteer detachments” to sign contracts with his ministry before the end of the month, a move he said would increase the effectiveness of the Russian military.

Although the ministry did not mention Wagner in its public statement, Russian media reported that it was an attempt by Shoigu to bring the mercenaries to heel.

Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister (Russian Defense Ministry/Vadim Savitsky/Handout via REUTERS)
Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister (Russian Defense Ministry/Vadim Savitsky/Handout via REUTERS) (RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY/)

“Wagner will not sign any contract with Shoigu”Prigozhin said in response to a request for comment on the matter. The order, he claimed, did not apply to Wagner.

“Those orders and decrees that Shoigu signs, apply to the employees of the Ministry of Defense and military personnel. The private military company Wagner will not sign any contract with Shoigu,” said the businessman on his channel Telegram.

The Defense Ministry did not respond to a request from the agency. Reuters to make comments.

Prigozhin and Wagner gained fame for what the United States described as destabilizing African countries, looting natural resources and even interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.

Prigozhin argued that Wagner is completely subservient to the interests of Russia, but that his highly efficient command structure would be damaged by reporting to Shoigu.

“Shoigu cannot adequately manage military formations”Prigozhin said, adding that Wagner coordinates his actions in Ukraine with General Sergei Surovikindubbed “General Armageddon” by the Russian media.

“On the ground, in accordance with the orders of Gerasimov and Shoigu, Wagner coordinates all his actions and performs the tasks set by Army General Sergei Surovikin, an “intelligent, competent and experienced commander”.

The Ministry of Defense indicated that, to increase the effectiveness of the “volunteer detachments”, all such units – or their men – would have to sign a contract before July 1. He did not mention Wagner by name, but usually refers to him as “volunteer assault detachments.”

“This will give volunteer formations the necessary legal status, create unified approaches to the organization of comprehensive provision and the fulfillment of their tasks,” the ministry noted.

“These measures will increase the combat capabilities and effectiveness of the armed forces and their volunteer detachments”said Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov.

Prigozhin said the ministry could use failure to comply with the order as a reason to deprive Wagner of supplies.

“What could happen after this order is that they don’t give us weapons or ammunition. We’ll manage, as they say,” Prigozhin said. “But when the thunder breaks, they will come running and bring weapons and ammunition with a plea for help.”

With information from Reuters

Keep reading:

Ukraine denounced that the Russian Army destroyed another dam in the Donetsk region

Ukraine announced the first achievements of the counteroffensive: they recaptured two villages in Donetsk

Ukraine’s counter-offensive is advancing rapidly, increasing political risks for Vladimir Putin