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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

24 Jun 2023

3 DK READ

25 Read.

Head of Wagner Mercenary Group Vows to Overthrow Russian Military Leaders

The head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has made a bold declaration to remove Russia’s military leadership. Following accusations of armed rebellion by the Kremlin.

Prigozhin claims that his fighters have crossed into Russia from Ukraine and are currently in Rostov-on-Don. The situation has raised alarm, leading local authorities to urge citizens to remain calm and indoors.

Tensions within the Wagner Group

The Wagner Group, a private army of mercenaries, has been fighting alongside the Russian army in Ukraine.

However, recent disagreements over the conduct of the war have strained the relationship between the two factions.

Prigozhin has been openly criticizing Russia’s military leadership in recent months. And on Friday, he accused them of launching a deadly missile strike on his troops without providing evidence.

Prigozhin, in an audio message posted on Telegram, expressed his determination to seek justice and punish those responsible for the deaths of his troops in the war.

He urged people not to resist, warning that anyone who does would be considered a threat and destroyed.

Wagner

He clarified that his actions were not a military coup but a “march of justice,”. Emphasizing that they would not interfere with the regular troops.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been receiving constant updates on the situation. While security in Moscow and other important locations has been heightened.

The governor of Lipetsk region has request residents not to travel south, and security measures are tightened, particularly to protect critical infrastructure facilities. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence stated that they are closely monitoring the situation.

Reactions from Russian Officials

General Sergei Surovikin, the deputy head of Russian forces in Ukraine, who has received praise from Prigozhin in the past, called on him to halt the convoys and return them to their bases.

Another senior commander, Lt Gen Vladimir Alekseyev, condemned Prigozhin’s actions as a betrayal of the country and its president.

Russia’s security service, the FSB, has initiated a criminal case against Prigozhin, accusing him of inciting armed rebellion and attempting to provoke civil conflict within Russia.

The FSB has also urged Wagner fighters to disregard his orders and take steps to apprehend him.

The Russian defense ministry has dismissed Prigozhin’s claims of Russian strikes on Wagner camps as false information intended to provoke.

Wagner

This recent development follows a video message in May where Prigozhin criticized Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, surrounded by the bodies of his troops.

Prigozhin accused them of failing to provide sufficient ammunition. He also claim that the war in Ukraine orchestrated to benefit Shoigu, enabling him to attain the rank of Marshal. He dismissed the Ministry of Defense’s narrative of Ukrainian aggression as deceptive.

The vow by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, to overthrow Russia’s military leadership has raised concerns of armed rebellion and strained the relationship between the mercenaries and the regular army.

The unfolding situation has sparked heightened security measures and official responses from Russian authorities.

The legal consequences for Prigozhin and the denial of his claims highlight the complexity of the situation.

The developments will continue to be monitored closely by international observers and allies of the United States.

Head of Wagner Mercenary Group Vows to Overthrow Russian Military Leaders