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ISW: Putin doesn't know what to do about Wagner

by Abbey Fenbert July 10, 2023 7:46 AM 1 min read
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Putin's decision not to expel the Wagner Group and prosecute rebellion leaders puts the Russian dictator in "an awkward position," the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote on July 9.  

A document that appears to be the Wagner Group's founding charter was leaked anonymously on July 9, though the intent of the leak is unclear. The document outlines the roles and responsibilities of the mercenary company's leaders and emphasizes the group's loyalty to the Russian nation.

The leak may be a ploy to rehabilitate the Wagner Group's reputation, and that of its former commander, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, following the aborted rebellion of June 2023, the ISW writes.

The document, however, makes the mercenaries appear more competent and professional than the Russian military, highlighting the ambiguous status of the Wagner Group in Russia. The group is reported to still recruit fighters in Russia, while the Russian Ministry of Defense carries out its own effort to recruit former Wagnerites into the Russian military.

According to the ISW, the Wagner Group was Russia's most combat-ready fighting unit prior to the June rebellion. Now, Russian leaders aren't sure how to interact with the mercenary force.

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