Russian Mercenary Chief Who Called for Rebellion Confirms He and His Troops Reached Russian City 2023

Wagner private military contractor owner who called for an armed uprising to overthrow Russia’s defense minister said Saturday morning that he and his forces have reached a vital Russian city after crossing the border from Ukraine.

Yeveny Prigozhin released a video of himself in Rostov-on-Don at the Russian military headquarters overseeing the Ukraine conflict. He claimed authority over the city’s military infrastructure, including the airfield. Social media footage showed military vehicles, including tanks, on the streets.

Prigozhin announced early Saturday that his soldiers had crossed into Russia from Ukraine and reached Rostov, adding that his men “aren’t fighting against children.”

“But we will destroy anyone who stands in our way,” he declared in one of a series of heated social media videos and audio recordings uploaded late Friday. “We will keep going.”

Russia’s security agencies demanded Prigozhin’s arrest after his armed insurrection proclamation. The Kremlin tightened security in Moscow and Rostov-on-Don, demonstrating its concern. He entered the southern Russian city with unknown soldiers.

Prigozhin said that Gen. Valery Gerasimov ordered jets to attack Wagner’s convoys, which were traveling alongside civilian cars. His soldiers also shot down a Russian military helicopter that fired on a civilian convoy, although there was no independent confirmation.

After a Rostov meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to eliminate Wagner, Gerasimov ordered rockets, helicopter gunships, and artillery bombardment on Wagner field camps in Ukraine.

This is not a military coup, but a march of justice

Kyiv’s soldiers were testing Russian positions in the early phases of a counteroffensive, which might impair Moscow’s military effort. If Prigozhin wins, the disagreement might affect President Vladimir Putin’s unity.

The Wagner troops have helped Russia win the war in Ukraine by seizing Bakhmut, the deadliest and longest battleground. Prigozhin has frequently accused Russia’s military leadership of inefficiency and depriving his soldiers of guns and ammo.

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee, part of the FSB, accused Prigozhin with inciting an armed uprising on Friday, punishable by up to 20 years in jail.

The FSB advised Wagner’s contract troops to arrest Prigozhin and defy his “criminal and treacherous orders.” It labeled his words a “stab in the back to Russian troops” that incited war.

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson, said Putin was notified and “all the necessary measures were being taken”. He said Saturday morning that Putin would address the country “shortly.”

Early Saturday, heavy military trucks and armored vehicles were observed in many central Moscow neighborhoods, while troops with assault guns were stationed outside the Defense Ministry. Traffic was clogged around the presidential administration in Red Square.

Despite the military presence, downtown pubs and restaurants were packed. People danced outside a bar near the FSB headquarters.

Saturday morning, Moscow’s mayor announced counterterrorism measures, including road control and probable mass assembly restrictions.

Prigozhin, who has fought the Defense Ministry for years, refused to sign contracts with the ministry until July 1. “They have treacherously cheated us,” he added late Friday.

“Today they rocketed our rear camps and killed a lot of our comrades,” he claimed. Defense Ministry denied Wagner camp attacks.

Stop the evil of the military leadership

Col. Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of the Russian forces operating in Ukraine, warned the Wagner forces not to attack the army since Russia’s opponents are “waiting to see the exacerbation of our domestic political situation.”

Political expert Tatiana Stanovaya anticipated Prigozhin’s demise.

She tweeted that the state’s active engagement is irreversible. “Prigozhin and Wagner are going. The Wagner group’s resistance is the single variable in absolute obliteration. Surovikin was sent to negotiate their capitulation. Confrontation feels pointless.”

Top military officer Lt. Gen. Vladimir Alexeyev called Prigozhin’s decision “madness” that risks civil war.

It’s a betrayal of the nation and president. “Only Russia’s enemies could stage such a provocation,” he claimed.

The Defense Ministry claimed Ukraine was gathering soldiers for an offensive on Bakhmut to take advantage of “Prigozhin’s provocation.” It said Russian artillery and airplanes were targeting Ukrainian soldiers preparing an attack.

“The violent overthrow of Putin loyalists like Shoigu and Gerasimov would cause irreparable damage to Putin’s perceived hold on power,” stated the Institute for the Study of War in Washington.

“We are monitoring the situation and will be consulting with allies and partners on these developments,” said White House National Security Council spokesperson Adam Hodge.

Serhii Popko, the commander of Kyiv’s military administration, stated on Telegram that a Russian missile assault killed two people and injured eight Saturday when falling debris caused a 24-story apartment building in a key sector to catch fire.

He reported detecting and destroying over 20 missiles. The image revealed a fire on the top stories with ash and debris in the parking lot.

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