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Russia. The head of the Wagner Group Prigozhin accused the Russian army of attacking the Wagnerians, threatens to march on Moscow

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Russia’s regular army units attacked the camp of the Wagner Group mercenaries, causing numerous casualties, said the head of this formation, Yevgeny Prigozhin. He announced that he intended to “restore justice” in the army and urged “not to resist.” After midnight Polish time, he announced that his troops had crossed the state border and entered Russian territory. Prigozhin is in Rostov-on-Don and demands a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

The owner of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Friday that the troops of the regular army Russia attacked the mercenary camp causing numerous casualties. He announced that he intended to “restore justice” in the army and called for no opposition.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a series of recordings published on Telegram, announced that “those who have destroyed our boys, who have destroyed the lives of many tens of thousands of Russian soldiers, will be punished.”

PrigozhinReuters Archive/CONCORD PRESS SERVICE

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“I urge you not to resist,” said the owner of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group. – There are 25,000 of us and we are going to explain why the country is in chaos – he added. He made it clear, however, that “this is not a coup d’état,” the Reuters agency reported.

As Politico writes, Prigozhin’s dispute with the Russian Ministry of Defense has been brewing for months and has now intensified. Prigozhin accused the Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu about hiding “colossal” mistakes on the battlefield from Putin. According to him, in the war with Ukraine about 100,000 Russian soldiers were killed. In a recent statement, he said that 2,000 of his mercenaries were killed in attacks ordered by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Yevgeny Prigozhin Reuters

The founder of the Wagner group also questioned Moscow’s justification for launching the invasion of Ukraine. He stressed that “the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not intend to attack Russia together with FOR THISand that “war was needed for a band of scoundrels to triumph and show how strong an army they are.” At the same time, he labeled the Russian military leadership “evil” and vowed to march for “justice.”

Prigozhin wants a meeting with Shoigu

Prigozhin, according to Reuters, is staying at the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don. He demands a meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. – We want to meet Shoigu and the chief of the general staff here. Until they arrive, we will stay put and block Rostov-on-Don. We will also go to Moscow, declared Prigozhin, quoted by Reuters and the independent Russian portal Meduza.

Armored vehicles on the streets of Rostov and Moscow

Armored vehicles appeared on the streets of Rostov-on-Don and on the roads leading to Moscow on Friday evening, the Russian BBC News service reported. The independent portal 161.ru reported the announcement of the “Fortress” plan, i.e. the protection of the facilities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The exact actions of the ministry’s employees under this plan are a state secret, but it is widely known that the entrances and exits to the Ministry of the Interior building are blocked. “There is an order to bring the entire Ministry of External Affairs and the Russian Guard to combat readiness and to strengthen checkpoints on the border with the annexed LPR and DPR” [tak zwaną Ługańską Republiką Ludową i tak zwaną Doniecką Republiką Ludową] – wrote the portal.

Fighting vehicles in MoscowReuters

The Russian editorial office of BBC News reported that the Moscow branch of the Federal Security Service had raised the alarm. According to the source cited by the service, on the Don highway (Moscow-Voronezh-Rostov-on-Don), the FSB, with the support of SOBR – special rapid response units of the National Guard troops – set up roadblocks, and the soldiers on duty were ordered to open fire “in case of danger” .

Independent media: Wagnerians enter Rostov

After midnight Polish time, Prigozhin announced that his troops had crossed the state border and were on Russian territory. – Border guards came out to meet our fighters and hugged them. Now we are entering Rostov. The units of the Ministry of Defense, or rather the conscripts who were supposed to block our path, moved aside – he said.

– We do not fight children, we do not kill children! Shoigu [Siergiej Szojgu, minister obrony Rosji – przyp. red.] kills children by sending untrained soldiers, including conscripts, to war. He pitted 18-year-old boys against us, they are all like children and grandchildren to us. So these guys will survive, they will go back to their mothers – announced the head of the Wagnerians.

Combat vehicles in RostovReuters

He stressed that his men would only fight a professional army. “But if anyone gets in our way, we’ll destroy everything.” We go on, we go to the end, announced Prigozhin.

In another statement on Telegram, the owner of the Wagner Group informed that his forces shot down a Russian combat helicopter. “Just now, the helicopter opened fire on a civilian column and was shot down by Wagner units,” Prigozhin said, adding that Russia’s chief of staff, Valeri Gerasimov, had given orders to bomb Wagner units, even though they were among civilian vehicles.

The FSB opens a criminal case against Prigozhin

Meduza, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces and former commander of the Joint Group of Russian Forces, Army General Sergei Surovikin, issued an appeal to the Wanger group militants, urging them to “stop” and not take part in the rebellion announced by Prigozhin.

“Before it’s too late, we need to stop the columns and carry out the will of the president,” General Surovikin said in a video, calling on the Wagnerians to “solve problems peacefully.”

According to Reuters, citing government media in Russia, the FSB opened a criminal case against Prigozhin for “calls for armed rebellion.”

Main photo source: Reuters Archive/CONCORD PRESS SERVICE

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