In a significant development, the Wagner mercenary group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has captured Rostov-on-Don, the first city in Russia, marking the country’s first armed insurrection since the Chechen wars. This event comes amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and raises concerns about the stability of Moscow’s military leadership. The Wagner militia has successfully gained control of the streets in Rostov-on-Don, a city situated near the Ukraine border, as part of their mission to challenge the current military administration.
Wagner fighters expand their control, seize military facilities in Voronezh
Reports indicate that the Wagner fighters have not only taken control of Rostov-on-Don but have also seized military facilities in the city of Voronezh, which lies further north on the route to Moscow. The governor of Voronezh has confirmed ongoing operations to suppress the mutiny and regain control of the seized military assets. This expansion of the Wagner militia’s influence raises concerns about the potential escalation of the conflict and its impact on the region.
President Putin vows to crush the mutiny, labels it a betrayal
Reacting to the armed insurrection and the threat posed to Moscow’s military leadership, President Vladimir Putin delivered a televised address condemning the actions of the Wagner militia. He described the events as a betrayal and emphasized that those involved would face severe consequences for their actions. President Putin stressed the need to defend the nation against such threats and promised a resolute response to those who engaged in armed rebellion, blackmail, and terrorist methods.
Yevgeny Prigozhin refutes accusations of treason, claims patriotism
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, responded to President Putin’s accusations of treason by asserting his and his men’s commitment to the nation. He denied any intention to surrender and argued that they are patriots fighting for the betterment of their motherland. Prigozhin emphasized the need to combat corruption and deceit in the country, indicating that their actions were driven by a desire for positive change.
Prigozhin calls for meetings with key military figures in Rostov
As tensions escalate, Yevgeny Prigozhin has reached out to key military figures, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, inviting them to Rostov for discussions. The outcome of these potential meetings remains uncertain but signifies Prigozhin’s intent to engage in dialogue with influential figures in an attempt to shape the future course of action.
This event highlights the significant role of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a former convict and longstanding ally of President Putin, who leads the private army known as the Wagner group. Notably, this private army consists of thousands of former prisoners recruited from Russian jails.
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