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Prigozhin refuses to sign contract, his participation in operation ends — legislator

"Everyone began to carry out this decision, an absolutely correct one. Everyone except Mr. Prigozhin," Andrey Kartapolov noted

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the PMC Wagner, has refused to sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry, after which he was notified about the termination of the PMC’s participation in the special military operation in Ukraine, the chairman of the State Duma’s Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, told the media on Thursday.

He recalled that several days before the attempted mutiny the Defense Ministry said that "all groups and units that perform combat tasks must sign a contract" with the ministry.

"Everyone began to carry out this decision, an absolutely correct one. Everyone except Mr. Prigozhin," Kartapolov noted. "Then he was told that in this case, PMC Wagner would not take part in the special military operation. In other words, there will be no funding or supplies," Kartapolov specified. He also stressed that for "Mr. Prigozhin this is an important thing, if not the main one."

"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," Kartapolov said about the reasons behind the attempted mutiny.

On June 10, the Russian Defense Ministry said that in order to increase the effectiveness volunteer units in the combined group of forces Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu signed an order establishing the procedure for organizing the routine activities of volunteer groups. The document stipulated that volunteer detachments must sign contracts with the Defense Ministry by July 1, thus obtaining the necessary legal status. Also, this would ensure uniform approaches to the organization of supplies and the performance of tasks.

Attempted military mutiny

On the evening of June 23, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the PMC Wagner, said on his Telegram channel that his units had been attacked, and accused the military leadership of Russia. The Defense Ministry dismissed these allegations as false. PMC Wagner units who agreed to support Prigozhin headed for Rostov-on-Don and towards Moscow. The FSB opened a case over the call for armed mutiny. Russian President Vladimir Putin in a televised address described the PMC Wagner’s actions as treason.

Later, by agreement with Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held talks with Prigozhin. The PMC Wagner’s convoys turned back and returned to the field camps. The Kremlin later said that the authorities would not prosecute PMC personnel for taking part in the mutiny in light of their accomplishments on the frontline. The criminal proceedings over the attempted armed mutiny were terminated, the FSB said.

Later, Lukashenko said that he had offered Prigozhin to use one of the abandoned military garrisons in Belarus for the PMC Wagner’s field camp. He also promised him complete security and the relocation of PMC forces to Belarus.