Prigozhin says Wagner will not sign any contract with Russian defence minister

  • Prigozhin says Shoigu’s order does not apply to Wagner
  • Prigozhin: Shoigu cannot handle army formations
  • Shoigu had ordered volunteer detachments to sign contracts

MOSCOW, June 11 (Reuters) – Russia’s strongest mercenary mentioned on Sunday that his Wagner fighters would not sign any contract with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, publicly refusing an try by the defence ministry to convey his preventing pressure below its sway.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founding father of the Wagner group, has repeatedly attacked President Vladimir Putin’s high army brass for what he casts as treachery for failing to battle the warfare in Ukraine correctly.

Neither Shoigu nor Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov have commented in public on the insults from Prigozhin, whose forces in May took the Ukrainian metropolis of Bakhmut after a battle wherein tens of hundreds perished.

The defence ministry on Saturday mentioned Shoigu had ordered all “volunteer detachments” to sign contracts with his ministry by the tip of the month, a step it mentioned would improve the effectiveness of the Russian military.

Though the ministry did not point out Wagner in its public assertion, the Russian media reported that it was an try by Shoigu to convey the mercenaries to heel.

“Wagner will not sign any contracts with Shoigu,” Prigozhin mentioned in response to a request for touch upon the matter. The order, he mentioned, did not apply to Wagner.

The defence ministry did not reply to a Reuters request for remark.

Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries gained renown for what the United States mentioned was destabilising international locations throughout Africa, plundering pure sources and even meddling within the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

He says the United States has destabilised so many international locations the world over that Washington has no ethical authority to lecture anybody.


Prigozhin mentioned Wagner was utterly subordinate to the pursuits of Russia however that its extremely environment friendly command construction could be broken by reporting to Shoigu.

“Shoigu cannot properly manage military formations,” Prigozhin mentioned, including that Wagner coordinated its actions in Ukraine with General Sergei Surovikin, nicknamed “General Armageddon” by the Russian media.

The defence ministry mentioned that within the pursuits of accelerating the effectiveness of “volunteer detachments”, all such models – or their males – must sign a contract with the defence ministry by July 1.

It did not point out Wagner by identify nevertheless it routinely refers to Wagner as “volunteer assault detachments”.

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

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

Prigozhin mentioned the ministry would possibly use the failure to conform with the order as a motive to deprive Wagner of provides.

“What could happen after this order is that they will not give us weapons and ammunition. We will figure it out, as they say,” Prigozhin mentioned.

“But when the thunder breaks, they will come running and bring weapons and ammunition with a request to help.”

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; enhancing by Jason Neely

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Guy Faulconbridge

Thomson Reuters

As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs protection of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Before Moscow, Guy ran Brexit protection as London bureau chief (2012-2022). On the evening of Brexit, his staff delivered one in all Reuters historic wins – reporting information of Brexit first to the world and the monetary markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and began his profession as an intern at Bloomberg. He has spent over 14 years overlaying the previous Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian.
Contact: +447825218698

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