Ministry of Defense vs Wagner

Against the background of the decree on volunteer detachments signed by the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, a serious battle unfolded between Sergei Shoigu and Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Defense Minister Shoigu signed a decree according to which all volunteer detachments come under the command of the Russian Ministry of Defense. All fighters must sign a contract by July 1 this year.

Traditionally, this is explained to the Russian public by the concern of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for the fighters taking part in hostilities, i.e. providing social benefits, payments in case of injury and assistance to their families.

In fact, the Ministry of Defense is trying to subjugate the numerous PMCs that have formed in large numbers over the past year.

A months-long conflict between the head of Wagner PMC and Yevgeny Prigozhin also played a certain role in the adoption of such a document.

Yevgeny Prigozhin refused to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense:

PMC “Wagner” will not sign any contracts with Shoigu. PMC “Wagner” is organically built into the overall system, PMC “Wagner” coordinates its actions with the generals on the right, left, with unit commanders, has the deepest experience and is a highly effective structure. Unfortunately, most military units do not have such efficiency, and precisely because Shoigu cannot manage military formations normally. Therefore, the fact that he writes decrees or orders applies exclusively to the Ministry of Defense and to those who are within the Ministry of Defense.

Prigozhin believes that after his refusal, the Wagner group will not receive weapons and ammunition, but he is counting on the complexity of the situation at the front when the Ministry of Defense will be forced to use the Wagner group.

At the same time, insiders report that a serious provocation is being prepared against the Wagner group by the Ministry of Defense. Perhaps it will be an attempt on Yevgeny Prigozhin or something else.

Undoubtedly, the last straw of patience of the Ministry of Defense was the detention of Lieutenant Colonel Roman Vinivitin by Wagner fighters.

However, Vinivitin soon published a video in which he says that his confession during the arrest was written under pressure and torture from the fighters of the Wagner group. In it, the lieutenant colonel explained his personal dislike for Wagner. He said that the Wagner detachment used the Russian Army servicemen as free labor, used physical violence against the servicemen, up to the rape of a soldier subordinate to him, who eventually committed suicide.

How the Ministry of Defense will respond to this is not yet known, but the beginning of an even greater confrontation between these organizations has been laid.

Another fact is also curious: by its decree, the Ministry of Defense obliges not only PMCs, but also volunteer territorial defense units, which are formed in the regions bordering Ukraine, to sign a contract. Thus, having signed a contract, the territorial defense fighters cannot violate it and can potentially be transferred to any of the hottest points on the front.


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