Putin revealed that the Wagner Group never really existed.
This was announced by Putin on Thursday (07/13/2023) in an interview with the newspaper “Kommersant”.
Putin's statement came in response to a question about whether the Wagner group would continue fighting in Ukraine.
Wagner's group recently came under the spotlight after their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, threatened a coup against Russia.
Putin's comments came after last month's failed Wagner coup.
“The private Wagner military company does not exist. We have no laws for private military organizations. “They never existed,” Putin said, quoted by CNN.
However, the man who was once prime minister of Russia explained what he meant, considering Wagner's troops were involved in the country's invasion of Ukraine.
“Legally, the unit does not exist,” said the 70-year-old head of state.
Technically, what Putin said wasn't wrong.
Article 359 of the Russian Criminal Code prohibits mercenary activity.
The law provides that recruiting, training, financing or otherwise providing material support to mercenaries, or their participation in armed conflicts or military operations, are punishable with severe penalties.
Putin himself added that he should consider legislation to legalize private military companies, although he admitted it would not be easy.
Nevertheless, Putin's statement raises even more questions.
In addition, before the special military operation against Ukraine, the Kremlin frequently denied the existence of Wagner.
But then everything changed and Wagner became important for Russia and secured several victories in Ukraine.
The question arises whether Wagner was an illegal person. Who approved their use?
Who trains and equips them and who approves their budgets?
Source: CNN/Kompas TV