Wagner Group ‘simply doesn’t exist’ as a legal entity, Vladimir Putin says – National

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Wagner Private Military Company “simply does not exist” as a legal entity, citing a series of attacks following the group’s failed uprising last month, the most serious threat to the Putin regime in 23 years. said in a comment attached to the bizarre development. -year reign during the Ukrainian War.

“There is no law on private military organizations. It simply does not exist,” Putin told a Russian newspaper late Thursday, referring to the Wagner group.

Putin told Kommersant his own version of the events in the Kremlin on June 29, which were attended by 35 Wagner commanders, including Wagner party leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. The meeting took place just five days after Prigozhin and his army launched a spectacular but short-lived rebellion against Moscow. authorities.

The talks were revealed by Kremlin officials earlier this week.

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Wagner director Prigozhin returns to Russia: Lukashenko

Putin said at the meeting that Mr Wagner had rejected an offer to keep troops in Ukraine, which has played a key battlefield role under the direct commander’s guidance.

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“We could have all been in one place and continued our mission,” Putin told the newspaper. They would have been led by the same person who was their real commander from the beginning. “

Putin has previously said Wagner’s forces would have to choose between signing a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry, moving to neighboring Belarus, or retiring.

According to Putin, “a lot of people nodded” at his proposal, but Prigozhin rejected the idea, replying that “boys would not agree to such a decision.”

Click to play video: 'Belarusian' Lukashenko says Wagner leader Prigozhin has returned to Russia

Belarusian Lukashenko Says Wagner Leader Prigozhin Has Returned to Russia

Putin said it was one of “several employment options” proposed at the conference.

During a rebellion that lasted less than 24 hours, Prigozhin’s mercenaries quickly overran the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, captured the military headquarters there without firing a shot, and then drove to within about 200 kilometers of Moscow. Arrived at

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Mr. Prigogine described the move as a “justice march” to expel military leaders who demanded Mr. Wagner sign a contract with the Defense Ministry by July 1.

The fate of Prigozhin and the terms of the deal that ended the armed rebellion by granting him and his mercenaries a pardon and permission to emigrate to Belarus remain unclear.

Click to play video: Lukashenko says Putin wanted to 'wipe out' Prigozhin during attempted Wagner rebellion

Lukashenko says Putin wanted to ‘wipe out’ Prigozhin during attempted Wagner uprising

The Defense Ministry said Wednesday that Wagner mercenaries had completed the handover of weapons to the Russian military.

Their disarmament of Wagner reflects the efforts of the Russian authorities to mitigate the threat they pose and also marks the end of the mercenaries’ activities on the Ukrainian battlefields where Kiev forces are counterattacking. It seems to tell.

© 2023 Canadian Press

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