Private military companies will be enshrined in the Russian legislation after Vladimir Putin’s demand.
The Duma has already started preparing proposals to determine the legal status of PMCs, said the chairman of the Lower House Committee on Defense Andrei Kartapolov.
“Kartapolov said: “Much of what concerns the performance of PMCs tasks in the CFA zone has already been settled, but it is still necessary to determine the basic provisions: what is the role of PMCs, what role they play and what place they occupy in our legal structure”.
The deputy promised to offer options in the near future, but stressed that “we are not talking about legalization”. “We are talking about forming their legal status in accordance with our legislation”, Kartapolov explained.
The day before Putin stated the need to legalize the status of PMCs. “I asked the State Duma deputies and the Defense Ministry to bring everything into line with common sense, with established practice and the law”, said the president at a meeting with military correspondents.
He recalled that the Defense Ministry now concludes contracts with volunteer units who want to continue fighting in Ukraine. “It is necessary to conclude contracts with all voluntary associations and it is necessary to make some changes to the law. <…> Both will be done”, Putin assured.
The Defense Ministry signed contracts with 10 volunteer formations after Minister Sergei Shoigu issued a decree. According to the document, all fighters of the “volunteer formations” must sign a contract with the military department by July 1, defining their activities in the zone of a “special military operation”.
The head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, refused to obey the defense minister. “The Wagner PMC will not sign any contracts with Shoigu. […] What he will write decrees or orders, it applies only to the Ministry of Defense and to those who are within the Ministry of Defense”, Prigozhin said.
According to him, PMC mercenaries have more combat experience than the regular army, and Shoigu can not “properly manage” the military units. He suggested that after the introduction of new requirements and refusal to report to the head of the Ministry of Defense, the PMCs may have problems with weapons and ammunition.
“We’ll figure it out, as they say, when the thunder comes, they will come running and bring weapons and ammunition with a request to “help”, Prigozhin concluded.