In Russia, it is necessary to legalize private military companies, including PMC Wagner, believes Sergei Mironov, head of the Just Russia – For Truth party. The deputy stated this at the opening of the spring session of the State Duma.
According to him, it was thanks to the efforts of the mercenaries that Soledar was liberated. “Yes, with the support of our army, but this glory cannot be overestimated,” the deputy said (quote from MK). He stressed that the Russian Armed Forces “have a lot to learn from the Wagner PMC” in terms of training recruits.
It is necessary to legalize PMCs “so that we have a law, and not just arguments about who does what and on what basis,” Mironov said.
Under Russian law, mercenarism is prohibited in Russia. The recruitment of mercenaries for use in armed conflicts is punishable under Article 359 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation up to 20 years. For participation in a PMC, the mercenary himself can face up to 15 years.
Despite this, Wagner PMC fighters openly participate in the war in Ukraine. Last week, the Ministry of Defense even mentioned the mercenaries for the first time in its daily report, describing the events in Soledar.
“As for the direct assault on the city blocks of Soledar occupied by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this combat mission was successfully completed by the courageous and selfless actions of the volunteers of the Wagner PMC assault squads,” the message published on the telegram channel of the Ministry of Defense reads.
At the same time, the department added that the Russian Armed Forces also participated in the attack on the city. However, the owner of Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, stated that only Wagner PMC fighters took part in the assault on the city.
Prigozhin himself, prior to the start of the war in Ukraine, disowned the Wagner PMC. However, at the end of September, he nevertheless admitted that he owns a mercenary company.
In the summer of 2022, the Wagner PMC also began recruiting prisoners in Russian prisons for the war in Ukraine. And in the winter, President Vladimir Putin signed amendments to the law that allowed citizens to be officially sent to war with an unexpunged conviction for serious crimes.