A presidential directive announced Friday requires Russian paramilitary soldiers to make an oath to the Russian flag, two days after the suspected death of mercenary head Yevgeny Prigozhin.
According to the order, the policy aims to “form the spiritual and moral foundations for the defence of the Russian Federation” and… applies to members of volunteer formations – a term commonly used to describe mercenary groups.
The directive also applies to groups “contributing to the execution of tasks assigned to the armed forces” and territory defence units, according to the Kremlin website.
Fighters must pledge “their loyalty to the Russian Federation… strictly follow their commanders and superiors’ orders, and conscientiously fulfil their obligations,” the decree read.
President Vladimir Putin signed the paper two months after Prigozhin led his soldiers in a deadly mutiny against Moscow’s top brass.
In response to a question concerning Wagner’s future, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated on Friday that “legally, the Wagner private military group does not exist.”
Mercenary organisations are theoretically illegal in Russia.