The mercenaries of the Wagner PMC who do not want to sign a contract with the Defense Ministry will have to surrender their weapons, said the deputy of the State Duma from the Rostov Region Viktor Vodolatsky.
According to him, such a condition is stipulated by the decisions made by Russian President Vladimir Putin after the mutiny organized by the head of the group Yevgeny Prigozhin.
“Those units of PMCs, which enter into agreements with the Defense Ministry, will stay. Those who do not sign and want to go to Belarus, they go, understandably, without weapons”, said Vodolatsky on air of Duma TV.
The deputy mentioned artillery and tanks. According to him, the weapons must be handed over according to the inventory, then the Defense Ministry will transfer them to other units. “This is a normal control, so that there are no nuances with the loss of this or that tank”, Vodolatsky concluded.
On the eve of the Ministry of Defense began to disarm the Wagner PMC. Heavy military equipment of the mercenaries will be transferred to the existing units of the Armed Forces, said the department.
June 27, Putin said that the Prigozhin PMC was fully maintained at the expense of the state: only from May 2022 to May 2023, it spent 86.26 billion rubles. It follows that the entire arsenal of the Wagnerites belongs to Russia.
At the same time, the president ordered to arm the Rosgvardia. The force, which has 340,000 members, will receive tanks and long-range heavy weapons, said Viktor Zolotov, the director of the Rosgvardia and former security guard of the head of state.
Thus, the Federal Guard Service, which reports directly to Putin and was created after a series of protests demanding his resignation, will become a de facto “second army” in addition to the forces of the Defense Ministry.
Zolotov himself has already faced an attempted mutiny against the country’s leadership. In 1991, he served in the protection of President Boris Yeltsin and defended him during the GKChP coup d’etat. The committee was about to prevent the liquidation of the Soviet Union and brought troops and armored vehicles into Moscow. Yeltsin declared the actions of the GKChP an attempted coup d’etat. Recalling these events, in 2018 the head of the Federal Guard Service said that in the case of an assault, the August putsch “could have been completed in 15-20 minutes”.
Commenting on Prigozhin’s rebellion, Zolotov said that his agency “concentrated all forces” on the approaches to Moscow and its Wagnerites would “not take it.” This is also how he explained the fact that the mercenaries were able to seize Rostov-on-Don unhindered. “If you scatter the groups, they would have gone through like a knife through butter”, Zolotov justified himself.
According to the head of the Rosgvardia, the mutiny itself “was prepared and inspired by the Western intelligence services”, because they “knew about it a few weeks before it began”. “Prigozhin himself was encouraged to do it, or maybe his ambitions were too much, so to speak, he wanted to rise even higher”, Zolotov said.
The attempted mutiny of the Wagner PMC took place on June 23-24. Prigozhin claimed that the head of the Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu, carried out an operation to destroy the rear camps of his mercenaries. To “punish” the minister, the Wagnerites occupied Rostov-on-Don, where the headquarters of the Southern Military District is located, and marched to Moscow.
The mutiny was stopped by President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who held talks with Prigozhin by agreement with Putin. The parties agreed that the head of the PMCs and the Wagnerites, wishing to follow him, will move to a permanent location in the Republic.
Following the riot, Prigozhin said that he went there because he learned about the Defense Ministry’s plan to eliminate the Wagner. In addition, Prigozhin noted that he wanted “to call to account those individuals who had made inexcusable mistakes” during the war with Ukraine.
Sources of the telegram channel VChK-OGPU confirmed that shortly before the mutiny, the security forces began to prepare an operation to disband the Wagner. For this purpose, operative groups from the central apparatus of the FSB and the General Staff of the Defense Ministry flew to the war zone, “backed up by Shoigu personally and his high-ranking entourage”. Also a group of officers of the Main Personnel Department of the Defense Ministry flew to Rostov. According to their plan, the Wagner PMC was to terminate its existence by July 1, according to the channel’s sources.