In a recent statement, senior Russian MP Andrey Kartapolov disclosed that the Wagner Group, a prominent military formation, had declined to sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry just before initiating their mutiny. This decision, according to Kartapolov, was in contrast to other military groups that had complied with the ministry’s contract requirement. The refusal led to severe consequences for the Wagner Group, including defunding and being excluded from the military campaign in Ukraine. Let’s delve into the details of this significant development.
The Wagner Group’s Noncompliance and Consequences
Andrey Kartapolov, head of the State Duma’s Defense Committee, clarified that the Russian Defense Ministry had established a policy mandating all military formations to sign contracts. Despite the ministry’s stance that this policy was “absolutely correct,” the Wagner Group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, chose not to comply. In Kartapolov’s words, “Everybody apart from Wagner… complied. Apart from this gentleman [Prigozhin], who refused.”
Consequently, Russian authorities informed the Wagner Group that they would no longer be involved in the military campaign in Ukraine. This decision had significant implications, including the cessation of financial and material resources. Money played a crucial role for Prigozhin, making the threat of defunding a decisive factor. Kartapolov attributed the group’s acts of high treason and betrayal to a combination of defunding, Prigozhin’s ambitious aspirations, and an emotionally agitated state.
The Mutiny and Its Resolution
The Wagner Group’s mutiny began when Prigozhin accused the Russian Defense Ministry of orchestrating a deadly missile strike on one of the group’s camps. The ministry, however, denied these allegations. Subsequently, Wagner troops entered Rostov-on-Don, a city in southern Russia, and initiated a march towards Moscow. However, Prigozhin called off the uprising in exchange for “security guarantees” from the Russian government. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko played a crucial role in brokering this deal.
Prigozhin’s Stand and Putin’s Response
Before the mutiny, the Russian Defense Ministry had announced that over 20 Russian volunteer organizations involved in the conflict with Ukraine had signed contracts. In contrast, Prigozhin refused to follow suit, asserting that the Wagner Group was a highly efficient entity that was organically integrated into the overall military system.
Russian President Vladimir Putin later revealed that the Wagner Group relied entirely on state financing, while Prigozhin himself had amassed substantial wealth through catering contracts with the military. Putin commended the Russian military and security services for successfully preventing a civil war. He characterized the revolt as driven by personal interests and a betrayal of the people and comrades fighting on the front lines.
In conclusion, the refusal of the Wagner Group to sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry and their subsequent mutiny highlights the tensions within the Russian military. The incident underscores the significance of financial resources and the consequences of defunding while exposing personal interests and betrayal among comrades.
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