Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner PMC group has announced the suspension of recruitment of new mercenaries in Russia, explaining it by moving to Belarus and the cessation of its participation in the war against Ukraine.
“Due to the temporary non-participation of the Wagner PMC in a special military operation and the move to Belarus, we temporarily suspend the work of regional centers to recruit in the Wagner PMC for a month”, writes the Telegram channel of the group, which publishes the job ad.
However, the message contains a list of telephone numbers of the call center, where one can still call about the work of the PMCs. Prior to that, within a week after Prigozhin’s armed mutiny, the PMCs continued to recruit mercenaries all over the country, the BBC reported.
“We are working. If something had changed, we would have been informed. So far, there have been no changes”, said an employee of the Krasnodar branch of the Wagner PMC. In other cities, those wishing to join the ranks of mercenaries were also offered a salary of 240 thousand rubles a month and a six-month contract.
Prigozhin revolted on the night of June 23 and sent columns of mercenaries with heavy equipment to Moscow. The formal reason for this was an alleged rocket attack on the mercenaries’ camp by the Russian Defense Ministry forces. The head of the Duma Defense Committee Andrei Kartapolov later stated that the real reason was Prigozhin’s unwillingness to submit to the military department, sign a contract with it and go under its command.
“Then he was informed that in such a case, Wagner PMC will not take part in a special military operation”, said Kartapolov. The deputy assured that there is no need for a new mobilization due to the departure of the PMC fighters “for today and in the near future”. According to him, there is no threat of reduction in combat capabilities of the Russian forces: at the time of the attempted mutiny all the PMC members were in the camps, and the counterattack by the Armed Forces “went almost without their participation”.
Prigozhin’s mutiny ended in the evening of June 24, when the PMC columns were about 200 km from Moscow. He agreed with the Kremlin that the criminal case opened against him for the organization of an armed insurgency would be closed, and his mercenaries and himself would be allowed to relocate to Belarus.
After that, searches were conducted at the Wagner Center in St. Petersburg and other addresses associated with Prigozhin. At the same time, the signboard was taken off the Wagner Center. It then became known that the businessman had disbanded the Patriot media group that belonged to him, which included the famous “troll factory”. Russian propaganda began to debunk the “myth” about the high efficiency of PMCs in the war against Ukraine.