Date: 21 June 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński

Shoigu Sets A Trap For Prigozhin In Their Latest Feud

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered all “volunteer units” involved in Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine to sign such contracts by the end of June to standardize Russian forces. The decree was in fact another chapter of a running feud between Shoigu and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the notorious Wagner mercenary group.

SOURCE: KREMLIN.RU

Wagner will not sign “any contracts with Shoigu,” Prigozhin said in response to the new decree as he berated the minister’s leadership. But, on June 16, Prigozhin visited Russia’s Defense Ministry and attempted to deliver a contract that he had drafted himself. Prigozhin said that he was expecting a reply from the Russian Defense Ministry regarding a “contract” of his own drafting, which he had delivered to the ministry three days before. The details of the “contract” are unknown, but probably unacceptable for Shoigu. Tensions are running high between the defense minister and Wagner Group boss, which means serious problems for the one who loses. Undoubtedly, Vladimir Putin will play a decisive role here. Meanwhile, Russia’s Defence Ministry said it has signed a contract with the Akhmat group of Chechen special forces. In return, volunteer fighters would get the same benefits and protections as regular troops, including support for them and their families if they are wounded or killed. Russia’s deputy chief of the general staff, Colonel General Alexei Kim, said after signing the agreement with the Chechens that he hoped other volunteer units would follow suit. Yet Prigozhin criticized Shoigu and Russian generals, saying Wagner Group was completely subordinate to Russia and its commander-in-chief, thus the president. Prigozhin said his mercenary army was determining combat missions in coordination with Gerasimov’s deputy Sergey Surovikin. Surovikin is smart, experienced and stands for a high degree of effectiveness and success. Prigozhin accused Shoigu and the Russian Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov of incompetence in view of a large number of defeats in Moscow’s aggressive war against Ukraine. Igor Girkin, known as “Strelkov”, said Wagner Group chief was staging what he named a “military rebellion”. Prigozhin seems confident in his latest feud with Shoigu while the conflict over signing contracts will probably end up in a compromise at the behest of Vladimir Putin.

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