The Russian Defence Ministry announced on Monday that it has finalized a contract with the Akhmat group of Chechen special forces, a day after Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russia’s powerful mercenary chief, declined to do so.
This development comes in response to an order requiring all “volunteer units” to sign contracts by 1 July, bringing them under the control of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The move aims to establish greater control over private armies operating on behalf of Russia in Ukraine.
Under the contract, volunteer fighters will receive the same benefits and protections as regular troops, including support for themselves and their families in the event of injury or death.
However, Prigozhin, who has been engaged in an ongoing dispute with the defence ministry and criticised its lack of ammunition supplies for his Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine, stated on Sunday that he would not sign any such contract.