The founder of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that the state should provide its fighters with social guarantees due to participants in hostilities, even without signing contracts with the Ministry of Defense. The statement, made in response to a request from one of the Z-channels, was published on the Telegram channel of Prigozhin's press service.
Vladimir Putin said the day before that PMC mercenaries should conclude agreements with the Ministry of Defense. Prigozhin nonetheless reaffirmed his earlier statements about the unacceptability of such contracts:
“The state should participate in social guarantees for veterans, for fighters who have completed the task. Therefore, when we began to participate in this war, no one said that we would be obliged to conclude agreements with the Ministry of Defense. None of the Wagner PMC fighters is ready to go down the path of shame again. And therefore no one will conclude contracts.
As for social guarantees, I think that the State Duma and the president will find a compromise solution, in which they will receive both social guarantees and documents as combatants. <...> I have 20 thousand dead, should they also conclude a contract with the Ministry of Defense?”
On June 10, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered all "volunteer detachments" fighting in Ukraine to sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense by July 1. This happened against the backdrop of a conflict between the department and Prigozhin, who regularly insults and accuses the military leadership of the country of professional incompetence. In the following days, the Ministry of Defense announced the signing of several agreements with different formations. Prigozhin refused, emphasizing that the Wagner PMC is “organically integrated into the overall system” and “absolutely completely subordinate to the interests of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Commander [Putin].”
On June 13, at a meeting with "military commissars", Putin spoke out in support of this undertaking, stressing that the "volunteers" needed a legal status so that they could receive social guarantees. “First, you need to conclude contracts with the Ministry of Defense. The second is to change the laws. Both will be done,” Putin said.