Putin signs decree forcing paramilitary fighters to swear oath

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Russian paramilitary fighters will have to swear an oath to the Russian flag, a presidential decree signed Friday stipulates, two days after the presumed death of mercenary 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.

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.”

Mercenary groups are technically outlawed in Russia.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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