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British Ministry of Defence: Yevgeny Prigozhin’s dispute with Segei Shoigu is approaching a “critical moment”

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The dispute between the owner of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Minister Sergei Shoigu is approaching a critical moment, the British Ministry of Defense assesses. The reason is the requirement that members of mercenary groups sign contracts directly with the Ministry of Defense in Moscow.

In the daily intelligence update of the British Ministry of Defense, it was recalled that last Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense requested that members of “volunteer formations” such as the Wagner Group signed contracts directly with himwhich was then explicitly endorsed on Tuesday by Vladimir Putin.

READ ALSO: Prigozhin even opposes Putin. “I have 20,000 dead, they have to sign contracts too?”

The headquarters of the Wagner Group in St. Petersburg Reuters Archive

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Scathing criticism of Shoigu

The British Ministry notes that Prigozhin, who for several months directed scathing criticism at the Ministry of Defense Russiabut submitted to Putin’s authority, said on Wednesday that “none of the Wagner Group fighters are ready to go down the path of disgrace again. That’s why they won’t sign contracts.”

“Prigozhin’s rhetoric is evolving towards opposition to the broader section of the Russian establishment. July 1, 2023, the date of signing contracts by volunteers, will probably be a key reference point in this feud,” the ministry said.

Wagner Group mercenaries participate in the Russian invasion of UkraineHowever, according to Prigozhin’s earlier statements, the formation may withdraw from Ukraine after leaving Bakhmut in Donbas.

Yevgeny Prigozhin (left) surrounded by mercenaries fighting for Bakhmut Press service of Prigozhin/PAP/EPA

Loss of “capital” accumulated during the invasion

According to the Russian political scientist Mikhail Komin, quoted by the independent TV Current Time, the possible signing of contacts with the Ministry of Defense in Moscow and cooperation with this ministry will mean for the Wagnerians “the loss of all the military and political capital that they have accumulated over almost a year and a half of the ongoing war in Ukraine“.

Komin predicts that despite the pressure exerted, also by the Kremlin, Prigozhin and his formation will not sign contracts with the ministry Sergey Shoigu.

Main photo source: Press service of Prigozhin/PAP/EPA

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