The Russian government has declined a proposal by the Just Russia party to legalize private military companies (PMCs), indicating that the Constitution prohibits organizations that might threaten the integrity of the country and the security of the state. Novosibirsk MP Alexander Aksyonenko made the announcement on his VKontakte social network page on March 7.
In March 2022, Just Russia submitted an updated law on PMCs to the State Duma, proposing to allow them to operate officially. A year later, the party received a response from the government stating that the proposed bill contradicts Part 5 of Article 13 of the Constitution.
Despite the rejection, Alexander Aksyonenko stated that the party would continue to work on the bill. He believes that PMCs like the Wagner group should have a “solid legal foundation under their feet.”
At present, the law prohibits the establishment of private military companies and their participation in armed conflicts. Nonetheless, reports, including those from the Defense Ministry, indicate that the Wagner group has been operating in Ukraine. In February 2023, President Vladimir Putin said that he was considering the possibility of supporting the families of PMC fighters.