Putin Gives Wagner Mercenaries Ultimatum

Objectivity 4.8 | Credibility 4.8 | Relevance 4.6

Last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed that effective immediately all remaining Wagner mercenaries and other Russian private military contractors must swear an oath of allegiance to the Russian state.  The decree came just two days after a plane reportedly carrying Wagner CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin and other leaders crashed with no survivors.  The crash, in which many suspect foul play, came two months to the day after Prigozhin and Wagner took control of the Russian city Rostov-on-Don and began an aborted “march” on Moscow.  Part of the reason for Prigozhin’s “rebellion” was because of a similar ultimatum stating that Wagner mercenaries must sign military contracts by July 1.  While many believe the crash and ultimatum send a “clear message” from Putin, it is unknown how many in Wagner will respond.  Over the weekend, Russian officials said that they had positively identified Prigohzin’s remains by comparing genetic samples.