Putin orders members of Wagner Group to swear oath of allegiance to Russia News
Wagner Group // Telegram.
Putin orders members of Wagner Group to swear oath of allegiance to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an executive order on Friday ordering military units to swear an oath of allegiance to the Russian state. The oath, contained within the order, requires individuals to “strictly follow the orders of commanders and superiors.” Under Article 87 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the President is the “supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces.”

The executive order was issued two days after Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of powerful Russian mercenary group Wagner, died in a plane crash. Prigozhin was involved in a failed coup against Putin in June.

The attempted coup began with the alleged Russian Defense Ministry’s refusal to provide needed ammunition and other resources to Wagner forces. After Prigozhin publicly shamed military officials associated with Putin for the lack of supplies, Moscow ordered Wagner forces to sign contracts with the Defense Ministry — a move that would bring Wagner’s private military contractors under the federal control. Prigozhin refused to comply with the order, and shortly thereafter, led his troops into Russia, halting just short of Moscow.

The death of Prigozhin and the oath are widely interpreted as Putin reasserting control over the Russian military and associated volunteer forces. The oath is required to be administered to all military and volunteer units involved in “territorial defense,” and the “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine, which is how Russian authorities refer to the war in Ukraine.

Russian officials denied involvement in the crash that caused Prigozhin’s death. Kremlin spokesperson, Dmity Peskov, stated that any allegations against the state or Putin “are absolute lies.”