Orders by Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu apply to staff of Russian Defense Ministry, says Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The Wagner paramilitary group, which has fought on the Russian side in the ongoing war in Ukraine, on Sunday ruled out signing a military service contract with the country’s Defense Ministry under a recent decree.
“Those orders and decrees that (Defense Minister Sergey) Shoygu forms, they apply to employees of the Ministry of Defense and to military personnel. PMC (private military company) ‘Wagner’ will not sign any contracts with Shoygu,” Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement on Telegram.
Prigozhin said the Wagner Group coordinates its actions with general and unit commanders and has “the deepest experience and is a highly effective structure.”
“Unfortunately, most military units do not have such efficiency, precisely because Shoygu cannot manage military formations normally.
“Therefore, the fact that he writes decrees or orders applies exclusively to the Ministry of Defense and to those who are within the Ministry of Defense,” he added.
Underlining that Wagner Group was “completely subordinate” to Russia’s interests, under orders from the military’s top leadership, he said it performs tasks set by Sergey Surovikin, the commander of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
On Saturday, Shoygu signed a decree under which all units not under the Defense Ministry’s orders must sign military service contracts with it by July 1.