Espreso. Global

Wagner PMC is legalised in Russia, despite ban on activities of paramilitary mercenaries

18 January, 2023 Wednesday

The joint-stock company PMC Wagner Center registered in the Russian register in the building of the business center of the same name, built by Yevgeny Prigozhin in St. Petersburg. Until now, no legal entity with PMC Wagner in its name existed in Russia

This is reported by the BBC Russian service.

JSC PMC Wagner Center was put in the register of legal entities on December 27 in the form of a non-public joint-stock company with an authorised capital of 10,000 rubles. The names and number of shareholders are not disclosed. Now the Wagner Center has the right to conclude agreements, hire employees, receive government orders and grants without disclosing its beneficiaries.

The list of activities includes "consulting on commercial activities and management". In addition, the company indicated a wide range of activities - from book publishing, media and scientific development to rent and leasing of water and air transport.

The company is registered at the address of the office complex of the same name, which opened in November, in a residential area of St. Petersburg. The building was constructed by Retail JSC, Prigozhin became director of the company after the opening of the building.

Alexey Tensin was appointed as the General Director of JSC PWC Wagner Center. From October 1, 2019 to November 16, 2021, Tensin managed the main production site of JSC Concern Kalashnikov, based in Izhevsk, and before that he held the position of quality director in this holding for the production of weapons, the press service of the enterprise reported.

After the registration of JSC PMC Wagner Center, Tensin closed access to his page on the social network.

It should be noted that until mid-2022, the Russian authorities, and Prigozhin himself, avoided the Wagner PMC. Officials denied its existence, and its founder assured that he had nothing to do with the company.

Although at that time, Russian mercenaries from Wagner PMC took part in hostilities in eastern Ukraine, Syria, Sudan and the Central African Republic. And this is despite the fact that the Russian Criminal Code had articles on mercenarism and the creation of illegal armed groups.

  • As a reminder, Wagner PMC appeared in 2014 and was active in a number of countries where Russia has important interests - in particular - Syria, Libya, Central African Republic and Ukraine. There, among other things, they committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. After the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the Wagner mercenaries participated in the massacres of civilians. PMC is now recruiting inmates from Russian prisons. Prigozhin also recruits mercenaries for the war in Ukraine in Africa.
  • Prigozhin has long denied any connection with Wagner's PMC, but recently confirmed the existence of the group. The oligarch, who is under Western sanctions, is considered to be a supporter of Putin's aggressive war against Ukraine.
  • Earlier it was reported that the European Parliament wanted to recognize Wagner's private military company as a terrorist organization.
  • At the end of November, Bloomberg agency, citing its own sources, reported that the US presidential administration is considering the possibility of declaring Wagner PMC a foreign terrorist organization.
  • The Center for the Study of Corruption and Organized Crime (OCCRP) announced the founder of the PMC Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin the "Person of the Year" in the nomination "organized crime and corruption".
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