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Russia. Yevgeny Prigozhin even opposes Vladimir Putin. “I have 20,000 dead, they have to sign contracts too?”

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The head of the mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, once again reiterated that his formation will not sign any contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry. This means that he also opposes the position of President Vladimir Putin himself, who stated that private military companies and volunteer units should conclude contracts with the defense ministry.

Yevgeny Prigozhin announced on Wednesday that “when the homeland was in trouble and the help of the Wagner Group was needed, President Russia he promised all social guarantees”. The head of the mercenary formation argued that he could take care of his people, but – as he put it – “today he is, tomorrow he is gone”, therefore “the state should take care of social guarantees for veterans and soldiers, who have done their job.”

“When we started this war, nobody said that we would be obliged to conclude agreements with the Ministry of Defense,” Prigozhin said.

SEE ALSO: Attack on Ukraine. Live coverage in tvn24.pl

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– I have 20,000 dead, should they also sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense? Today we fight and they tell us to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defence. Who are they asking us to sign a contract with tomorrow? – said Prigozhin, quoted by the Russian media. He added that the Ministry of Defense “is an important state body and an important structure that was privatized by a group of private individuals.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin in Bakhmut (Donetsk Oblast) ruined as a result of the fighting Concord press service/Reuters

Putin’s position

Wednesday’s statement by Prigozhin means that he even opposes the position of President Vladimir Putin, who during Tuesday’s meeting with war bloggers decided that private military companies and volunteer units should enter into contracts with the Ministry of Defence.

“This is the only way to ensure social guarantees (for mercenaries), if there is no contract with the state, no contract with the defense ministry, then there is no legal basis for social guarantees from the state,” Putin added, emphasizing that the situation must change “as soon as possible”.

The burial place of the mercenaries of the Wagner Group in the village of Bakinskaya Reuters Archive

Until July 1

On Sunday, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov announced that all volunteer units must sign contracts with the ministry by July 1. The regulation in this matter was issued by the minister Sergei Shoigu.

Independent channels on Telegram stated that the defense ministry wants to subordinate volunteer formations, mainly the Warner Group, whose mercenaries fight in Ukraine. Yevgeny Prigozhin, after Pankov’s statement, stated that the Wagner Group would not sign any contracts with the Ministry of Defence.

Prigozhin had previously repeatedly criticized Sergei Shoigu for “wrong decisions” made during the military invasion of Ukraine, and ministry officials for sabotaging the supply of ammunition and armament to his formation, which was fighting on the most difficult sections of the Ukrainian front.

Meduza, Radio Swoboda, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Concord press service/Reuters

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