June 26, 2023

Wagner Group Still Allowed


Wagner Group Still Allowed
Andrey Kartapolov, Chair of the State Duma Defense Committee. Anton Gerashchenko, Twitter.

The Chairman of the State Duma's Defense Committee, Andrey Kartaplonov, announced that, after Yevgeny Prigozhin's uprising on June 23 and 24, the legislature plans to regulate the Wagner Group. Yet, Kartaplonov dismissed the possibility of outlawing the group that President Vladimir Putin called "traitors."

Before the mercenary group's mutiny, Russian legislation explicitly forbade private military groups. Yet despite having the power to prosecute Wagner, the Kremlin ignored its own laws, likely due to Wagner's influence in Africa and its decisive role in the war in Ukraine, though Wagner's withdrawal from Bakhmut was a hard blow.

In an interview with Vedemosti, Kartaplonov, a deputy for United Russia, said Wagner soldiers "didn't do anything reprehensible" in Rostov-on-Don since "they [just] followed orders from their commanders." Kartaplanov acknowledged that Wagner forces remain the most "combat-ready forces in Russia." According to the legislator, even the armed forces recognize this fact. 

Prigozhin's arrival in Belarus has yet to be confirmed. His whereabouts are unknown as of the date of this article.

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