War in Ukraine LIVE: Towards a legalization of private military companies in Russia?

10:06 am: “The Wagner group is there, but it does not exist legally! “says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that he offered Wagner’s men to serve under someone else’s official command, but that their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, refused the offer after his aborted mutiny.

In an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant published Thursday evening, the Russian president gave details of his meeting, June 29 in the Kremlin, with Prigozhin and the commanders of the Wagner group. Wagner’s soldiers “could have been united in one place and continued to serve. For them, nothing would have changed, they would have been led by the person who was their real commander throughout this period,” Vladimir Putin said. And to add: “Many (of Wagner commanders) nodded when I said that. But Prigozhin, who was sitting in front, didn’t see it and said after listening, “No, the guys don’t agree with this solution.”

In his Kommersant interview, he also referred to the Wagner Group’s lack of official legal status in Russia, where private military companies are not allowed by law. “The Wagner group is there, but it does not exist legally! (…) This is another question related to (their) effective legalization. A question that must be raised in the Duma (lower house of Parliament), within the government, ”said Mr. Putin.

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