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Russian Defense Ministry poised to begin funding volunteer military formations

The Russian Defense Ministry is considering providing weapons, uniforms, food, and medical supplies to volunteer military formations, according to a draft order published on the Russian government’s website.

An explanatory note states that the new policy “will not require additional budget allocations from the federal budget.”

While various “volunteer battalions” have arisen in Russia with funding from local authorities and businesses since the February invasion of Ukraine, some Russian pro-war Telegram channels have speculated that the proposed new policy could be a way for federal authorities to fund the Wagner mercenary group.

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