Private military company (PMC) Wagner led by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin announced creation of People’s Militia Training and Management Centres in the Kursk and Belgorod regions of Russia. The corresponding statement was published by Prigozhin’s press service.
“Yes, in fact, we are creating militia training centres. I think that a militia should be composed of the first line that is entirely made up of residents of the region,” the press service quotes Prigozhin.
He also says that the responsibility for the “material support” of the militia should be assigned to the regional businesses.
“If you own a small factory that employs 100 people, and 50 of them are mature males, then 25% should be serving in the trenches and 75% should continue doing their jobs. And so it goes: one week in the trenches, three weeks at home and work,” Prigozhin suggests.
He proposes to award the enterprises that will provide volunteers with high state honours as a reward for their “civic position”.
Prigozhin plans to finance these centres himself, without help from federal and regional budgets.
“Definitely, the question of not distributing firearms on these territories will come up. In the trenches, everyone should have weapons, of course, but carrying arms should be banned in residential areas and outside of combat zones,” he adds.
A PMC Wagner Centre was previously opened in Saint Petersburg. According to Prigozhin, the centre’s mission is to provide “a comfortable environment for generating new ideas that would improve Russia’s defensive capacity, including information-wise”.