| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Wagner Group not disbanded yet, recruitment continues across Russia

Despite President Vladimir Putin’s decree that the members of the Wagner Group could either join the Russian military or depart for Belarus following the mutiny led by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, the group is reportedly continuing to recruit mercenaries across Russia.
According to the BBC, when its journalists called more than a dozen recruitment centres across Russia, it was found that there was business as usual for recruitment of potential Wagner fighters.

The publication reportedly called the purported Wagner recruitment centers using a Russian phone number and asked that they were inquiring on behalf of a brother.

From Kaliningrad in the west to Krasnodar in the south, no one believed the group was being disbanded, the report said.
In Murmansk, a woman at the Viking sports club confirmed to the publication that she was still signing up Wagner fighters for Ukraine.

“That’s where we are recruiting for, yes. If someone wants to go, they just have to call me and we will set a day,” the woman was quoted as saying.

New Wagner members are not signing contracts with Russian defence ministry
The BBC report said that several people at recruitment centres stressed that new members were signing contracts with the mercenary group itself, and not the Russian defence ministry which used to be the case before last Saturday.

“It’s absolutely nothing to do with the defence ministry,” a man at the Sparta sports club in Volgograd was quoted as saying.

“Nothing has stopped, we are still recruiting.”

The Wagner Group rebelled against Moscow’s military leadership last week after demands for transfer of its control from Yevgeny Prigozhin to the country’s defence ministry.

Sergey Surovikin a secret member of Wagner Group: Report
Meanwhile, a CNN report claimed that Russian General Sergey Surovikin was a secret VIP member of the Wagner Group and was simultaneously working with Russian military as well as Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mercenary group.

Surovikin, who has not been seen in public since last Saturday, is listed along with at least 30 other senior Russian military and intelligence officials, who is said to be a VIP Wagner member.

Surovikin released a video last week pleading for Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin to stop his insurrection.

His whereabouts have since remained unknown.
Wagner’s rebellion emerged as the biggest challenge to President Putin’s authority in his over two-decade rule. The said rebellion lasted a little less than 36 hours and ended after Belarus brokered a peace deal, following which the Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin — also a former chef to President Vladimir Putin — announced that he was pulling his troops back to their bases.

All the criminal case against the mutineers were later dropped.

Wagner fighters who did not participate in the mutiny have been signing the contracts of allegiance with the Russian Ministry of Defense.


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