Russian politician: Order for Wagner to sign Defense Ministry contract prompted revolt

June 29 (UPI) — A Russian politician on Thursday backed up the claim that Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was asked to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense prior to the mercenary group’s revolt.

Days before Wagner forces marched on Moscow all “groups and units that perform combat tasks” were ordered to sign a contract with the Defense Ministry, Russia’s State Duma Defense Committee Andrey Kartapolov said, according to Russian state-run outlets TASS and RIA Novosti.

“Everyone began to carry out this decision, an absolutely correct one. Everyone except Mr. Prigozhin,” he said.

Kartapolov added that Prigozhin was told that if he did not sign the contract his forces would not be permitted to take part in the war in Ukraine and would not receive funding or supplies.

“It came down to this: in the first place there was money; second, some stupid and exorbitant ambitions; and thirdly, an agitated state of mind. All of this combined evolved into an attempt at high treason and the deception of his comrades-in-arms,” Katapolov said.

Prigozhin on Monday said that the revolt did not aim to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin but rather that he was “categorically against” signing the contracts.

“We didn’t march to overthrow Russia’s leadership,” he said in the video. “The aim of the march was to avoid destruction of Wagner and to hold to account the officials who through their unprofessional actions have committed a massive number of errors.”

The feud between Prigozhin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was simmering for months over the battle in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, with Prigozhin frequently railing against the defense minister for lack of battlefield support in videos posted to Wagner-affiliated Telegram channels.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he brokered a deal to stop the revolt and that Prigozhin had since landed in the country on Tuesday.

Putin on Tuesday also offered Wagner fighters the opportunity to join the Russsian Defenses, move to Belarus with Prigozhin or go home.

Authored by Upi via Breitbart June 28th 2023