State Duma deputies approved in the first reading a package of bills allowing the Russian Guard to have volunteer formations in its composition, transmits press service of the lower house.
Documentation, published in the Duma electronic database, there were entered a group of deputies led by the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy and ex-adviser to the head of the Russian Guard Viktor Zolotov, Alexander Khinshtein, and senators led by the chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, Andrei Klishas.
The bills, if adopted, will extend to the Russian Guard all the powers and mechanisms regarding the formation of volunteer units that the Ministry of Defense already has, reminded October 17 Khinshtein in his Telegram channel.
“I would like to emphasize again that our initiative is not related to rumors about the inclusion of former units of the Wagner PMC into the Russian Guard,” he added.
As stated in the submitted documents, volunteer formations within the National Guard will be created based on the decision of the president of the country. They can be involved to perform “individual tasks in the field of defense” during the period of mobilization, martial law, in conditions of armed conflict or during CTO.
Contracts for joining such units will be concluded directly with citizens, and therefore PMCs and other structures will not be able to join them. At the same time, former PMC fighters, including Wagner, will individually be able to become volunteers of the Russian Guard, the authors of the bills emphasized. The documents also introduce benefits for fighters of volunteer units of the Russian Guard, which will be fully consistent with the volunteers of the Ministry of Defense. Volunteers will not be considered military personnel or employees of the Russian Guard.
In early August, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law according to which the Russian Guard can have military equipment in service. On August 25, 2023, Putin signed a decree according to which volunteers and territorial defense fighters will have to take an oath. According to the text of the decree, members of volunteer formations that take part in the special operation, territorial defense fighters and employees of state enterprises that were created in the regions during martial law will take the oath in front of the flag.
October 12, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev reportedthat since the beginning of the year, 357,000 military personnel have been recruited for military service in the interests of the united group of Russian forces. In early October, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that more than 50,000 Russians had signed the contract in September.