By Paul Goble
Anatoly Nesmiyan, who blogs under the screen name “El Murid” says that the legalization of the Wagner Group organized by Putin’s “chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin has “reached a new level” with Prigozhin announcing the opening of a Wagner Center in St. Petersburg.
While Prigorzhin and his Wagner group have received massive media coverage, the blogger points out, this group remains illegal according to Russian law and indeed was created to give the Kremlin deniability when it chose to use this illegal armed formation in Africa and elsewhere (publizist.ru/blogs/113683/44314/-).
This complete flouting of Russian law in this case opens the way for more such illegal armed formations to come out of the shadows, something that will allow the Kremlin to create still more groups to carry out its will without even the minimal restrictions that the Russian legal system provides.
In that regard, what is happening now resembles Hitler’s allowing the Bully Boys the Nazis used before coming to power to be adjuncts of his regime but outside the legal field, something that in turn undermined the survival of the regime of law in Germany. Something similar now seems to be in prospect in Putin’s Russia.