The head of private military contractor Wagner, which called for an armed rebellion aimed at ousting the Russian defense minister, confirmed Saturday morning that he and his troops had crossed the border from Ukraine into a major Russian city.
Even Prigozhin posted a video of himself in Rostov-on-Don, the Russian military command that oversees the fighting in Ukraine. He claimed his army controlled military installations in the city, including an airfield. Other videos posted on social media showed tanks and other military vehicles driving on an outdoor street.
Prigozhin announced early Saturday morning that his troops had entered Russia from Ukraine and had arrived in Rostov-on-Don, where they were not met with resistance by young conscripts at checkpoints and that his army was “not fighting children.” ‘ added.
“But we will destroy anyone who stands in our way,” he said in one of a series of angry videos and audio recordings posted on social media late Friday. “We are moving forward and we will do our best until the end.”
Russian security officials had called for Mr Prigozhin’s arrest after he declared an armed rebellion. In a sign of how seriously the Kremlin is taking this threat, security has been increased in Moscow and Rostov-on-Don. It was not immediately clear how he had managed to enter the cities of southern Russia and how many troops he had taken with him.
Prigozhin claimed that the Chief of the General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, had scrambled fighter planes to attack the Wagner convoy, which was running alongside civilian vehicles. He also said the Russian military shot down a Russian military helicopter that opened fire on a civilian convoy, but said there was no independent confirmation.
He said the Wagner camp in Ukraine was hit with rockets, helicopter gunships and artillery fire on Gerasimov’s orders after a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Rostov decided to destroy Wagner.
Mr. Prigozhin, who has 25,000 troops under his command, said he would punish Mr. Shoigu for any armed rebellion and urged the army not to resist, saying, “This is not a military coup, it is a march of justice.”
The outcome of the clash was not yet clear, but it seemed likely that the clash would further hamper Moscow’s war effort, as Kiev forces were probing Russia’s defenses in the early stages of a counteroffensive. This dispute, especially if Prigozhin wins, could also affect his ability to maintain a united front with President Vladimir Putin.
Wagner’s forces played a key role in Russia’s war in Ukraine, successfully capturing the city of Bakhmut, the city of the longest and bloodiest battle. But Prigozhin has increasingly criticized Russian military leaders, accusing them of incompetence and starving the army of weapons and ammunition.
On Friday, the National Anti-Terrorism Commission, part of the Federal Security Service (FSB), indicted Prigozhin for calling for an armed rebellion and sentenced him to up to 20 years in prison.
The FSB has urged Wagner’s contract soldiers to arrest Prigogine and refuse to follow his “criminal and dangerous orders.” The official called his remarks a “savage attack on the Russian military” and said it was tantamount to inciting armed conflict.
Putin has been informed of the situation, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “all necessary measures are being taken.” On Saturday morning, he added that Putin would address the nation “soon”.
Military lorries and armored vehicles were seen in several places in central Moscow early Saturday morning, while soldiers with assault rifles were stationed outside the main Defense Ministry building. The area around the presidential palace near Red Square was blocked, causing traffic jams.
But despite the increased military presence, downtown bars and restaurants were packed with customers. At a club near FSB headquarters, people were dancing on the street near the entrance.
Moscow’s mayor announced on Saturday morning that measures were underway to combat terrorism, including tightening road restrictions and possibly limiting large gatherings.
Prigozhin, whose feud with the Ministry of Defense dates back years, had refused to comply with demands for military contractors to sign contracts with the Ministry by July 1. In a statement late Friday, he said he was ready to find a compromise, but said “they have not yet reached an agreement.” You have betrayed us and deceived us. “
“Today they carried out a rocket attack on our rear camp and a huge number of our comrades were killed,” he said. The Ministry of Defense denied attacking the Wagner camp.
“We must stop the evil represented by the military leadership of this country,” he cried.
Colonel Sergei Slovikhin, deputy commander of the Russian military group fighting in Ukraine, urged Wagner’s forces to stop any movement against the army, saying it would “fall into the hands of Russian enemies waiting for the war to come.” It will happen,” he said. The domestic political situation is deteriorating. “
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https://wgnradio.com/news/international/russian-mercenary-chief-who-called-for-rebellion-confirms-he-and-his-troops-reached-city-in-russia/ Russian mercenary captain who called for rebellion confirmed arrival in Russian city with troops Wagon Radio 720