Wagner continues to recruit

Days after the mutiny ended, the private military group Wagner continued to recruit members across Russia.

Representatives of Wagner’s recruitment centers from Russia’s overseas territory of Kaliningrad to Krasnodar all said they were still operating normally, no one believed that the private military group was dissolved after the uprising on 24/24. 6.

In Murmansk, a city located on the Arctic Circle, a female employee at the Viking sports club confirmed that she was still accepting applications for volunteers who wanted to fight in Ukraine. “We are recruiting for the operation there. If someone wants to go, they just need to call and we will set a date,” the woman said.

Wagner’s recruitment contacts are mainly in martial arts clubs in Russia, including dojos and boxing clubs. Some recruitment officers insist that the candidates will sign contracts with Wagner, not the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“It has absolutely nothing to do with the Russian Ministry of Defense,” a man at the Sparta club in Volgograd insisted. “We’re still hiring, not suspended.”

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on June 10 that all volunteer units must sign a contract with the agency before July. Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of Wagner, objected to this decision and announced that he did not sign a contract with the Ministry of National Defense. Russian room.

Mr. Prigozhin, on June 24, sent thousands of Wagner soldiers divided into two groups to the city of Rostov-on-Don and the capital Moscow. After negotiations brokered by the President of Belarus, Prigozhin agreed to withdraw his forces to avoid bloodshed and ordered his units to return to their barracks, ending the day of the Wagner rebellion.

Leader Wagner then went to Belarus. Russian authorities have announced that they will not prosecute him and members of a private military group involved in the mutiny.

“We are working. If anything changes, they notify us, but nothing,” said Krasnodar’s female Wagner recruitment officer. Each Wagner member still receives a salary of more than $ 2,700 / month with a contract lasting half a year.

Andrey Kartapolov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Defense Committee (lower house), warned on June 29 that it was impossible to negotiate a deadline for Wagner to sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry. “The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that every unit must sign the contract; all have done this except Mr. Prigozhin,” Kartapolov said.

“Prigozhin received a notice that if he did not sign, Wagner would not be allowed to participate in the operation in Ukraine,” Kartapolov said. “Wagner is no longer given the budget or material resources.”

President Vladimir Putin said Wagner is 100% dependent on the government’s budget. Putin, on June 24, signed a law that stipulates that only the Russian Defense Ministry has the right to recruit prisoners, which used to be Wagner’s human resources.

Wagner soldiers on a tank in the city of Rostov-on-Done on June 24.  Photo: RIA Novosti

Wagner soldiers on a tank in the city of Rostov-on-Done on June 24. Photo: RIA Novosti

In Volgograd, the man in charge of recruitment emphasized that if a candidate signs up, “I can dispatch him the next day”. This person considers Belarus as a possible destination.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier this week that the country welcomes Wagner units. He assessed that the Belarusian army could learn a lot from Wagner’s real combat experience.

A Belarusian-born Wagner member said that the group’s forces “can provide good security support for Mr. Lukashenko” as the Eastern European country prepares for parliamentary elections next year. This Wagner member also said, “Kyiv is less than 300 km from the Ukraine-Belarus border”, a comment that was taken as a warning.

However, Western media say that there is no sign of Wagner soldiers moving on a large scale to Belarus. “Everything is the same as before; nothing has changed. People go to the training center in Molkino as usual,” Wagner’s recruiting staff in Saratov, referring to the training ground in southern Russia, was involved with the corporation.

Asked if there would be any changes after July 1, the deadline for volunteer units to sign contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry, the female employee said: “I hope not; I don’t know what. It’s going to happen. However, people are still contacting us.”