Russian paramilitary fighters will have to swear an oath to the Russian flag, a presidential decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on Friday, August 25 stipulates, two days after the reported death of Wagner mercenary group chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The measure is aimed at “forming the spiritual and moral foundations for the defence of the Russian Federation” and… applies to members of volunteer formations — a term usually describing mercenary groups — according to the decree by Putin.
It also applies to groups “contributing to the execution of tasks given to the armed forces” and territorial defence units, the decree published on the Kremlin website said.
Fighters must pledge “their loyalty to the Russian Federation… strictly follow their commanders and superiors’ orders, and conscientiously fulfil their obligations,” the decree read.
The document was signed by President Vladimir Putin two months after Prigozhin led his fighters on a deadly rebellion against Moscow’s top brass.
Asked about the future of Wagner, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that “legally the Wagner private military group does not exist.”