Press "Enter" to skip to content

Wagner group chief comes out against possible ban on criticizing military chiefs

The head of the paramilitary group Wagner said Wednesday that a possible ban on insulting participants in Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine must allow criticism of command staff.

“Only a soldier is sacred,” Evgeny Prigozhin said in a statement on Telegram, underlining that the public should be able to voice any opinion on the military chiefs.

Prigozhin also dismissed accusations that he sought to discredit the Russian Defense Ministry and military commanders with past complaints about a lack of ammunition due to its lack of formal status.

“I speak only the truth and have all the evidence, including documented,” he said. “All my statements are checked by lawyers, and therefore I carefully choose my expressions. Of course, you may put anyone in jail, and me too.”

When previously asked which officials refused to authorize ammunition supplies to the Wagner group, Prigozhin had said that either Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu or head of General Staff Valery Grasshoff signed the relevant documents.

On the criticism that he has received over these remarks, Prigozhin said in his latest statement that they were based on a logic that could see anyone jailed. “This is the way to nowhere,” he said.

Prigozhin also noted that his group continued to suffer from an ammunition shortage but continued to move forward, claiming that Wagner fighters had taken control over the settlement of Novovesnyanskoye in the southern Kherson region and continued efforts to encircle Bakhmut city in eastern Donetsk.

It is currently illegal in Russia to publicly insult the country’s military. A new bill is being considered by lawmakers to expands the ban to cover volunteer units, organizations, and individuals assisting the Russian army in the war on Ukraine, which began in February last year.

According to the legislation, doing so will carry a penalty of up to 500,000 rubles ($6,700), depending on the severity of the insult. If the offense is repeated within a year, it could warrant a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

If the action leads to death or mass riots, however, the perpetrator will be jailed for a maximum of 7 years.

More from EconomyMore posts in Economy »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *