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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Wagner Group revolt hour by hour. This is how Prigozhin challenged Putin. He finally laid down his weapon

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Revolt, march, chaos and agreement. It was 36 hours in which anything could happen. It is worth recalling in what order the recent events in Russia took place.

On Friday evening, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a series of recordings, accused Vladimir Putin’s soldiers of attacking Wagnerian positions and warned that he intended to “restore justice” in the Russian army. “There are 25,000 of us and we are going to find out why the country is in such chaos. Anyone can join us, we must end this disgrace,” Prigozhin said. Just over four hours later, the Wagner Group, deployed in Ukraine, crossed the Russian border and entered Rostov-on-Don. – It was the Ministry of Defense that started it all. Our convoy has been shot at. We will not forget it. All the Wagnerians got the information. They come from all over Russia. one of the Wagnerians explained.

On Saturday morning, the Wagnerians took complete control of the city of nearly one million, and their tanks and armored vehicles appeared on its streets. – It’s 7:30 in the morning. We took control of Rostov’s military facilities on the Don, including the airport, Prigozhin said on Saturday. The Kremlin sent Russian Deputy Defense Minister and General Vladimir Alexei to the site. Their negotiations with Prigozhin, however, did not bring any results. The head of the Wagner Group emphasized that he expected talks with Gerasimov and Shoigu.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation called on the mercenaries of the Wagner Group to renounce their allegiance to Prigozhin. Earlier, the FSB initiated a criminal case against him for “call to armed rebellion.” – Follow the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation before it’s too late. Stop your convoys and return to the bases where you were stationed – General Sergey Surovikin, deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, appealed to Prigozhin. Just after 9 o’clock, Vladimir Putin spoke. – This is a stab in the back of Russia and our people. Therefore, our response to these actions will be harsh. All those who have chosen the path of betrayal will be punished.

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The Kremlin publishes Putin’s first statement after the end of Prigozhin’s rebellionReuters

March on Moscow

Before noon, the Wagnerians, under the command of Prigozhin, moved north from Rostov towards Moscow. Their second military column entered Voronezh, a city 500 kilometers south of Moscow. Prigozhin maintained that all military facilities had been seized there as well. Fighters of the Wagner Group easily broke through the Voronezh region and reached Jelec – a city located about 400 kilometers south of Moscow. It was estimated that the mercenaries could reach the capital around 7 pm. After 3 pm, Ukrainian intelligence reported that Vladimir Putin left Moscow and went to the north of the country. According to sources in Kiev, panic was brewing in the Russian capital, and Russian soldiers were preparing to repel the Wagnerian attack. – You are trying to seize power from Vladimir Putin. This is a military coup d’état, said General Vladimir Alekseev, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff.

After 7 p.m., the office of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka unexpectedly announced that as a result of his negotiations with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagnerists agreed to stop the march of his mercenaries to Moscow. “Alyaksandr Lukashenko has personally known Prigozhin for about 20 years and has agreed with President Putin to enter into negotiations with him,” Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said. The Belarusian president and the owner of the Wagner Group were to conclude an agreement under which Russia was to discontinue the criminal proceedings against Prigozhin and his mercenaries, and to provide the Wagnerians with military contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Prigozhin himself was also said to have agreed to go to Belarus. A few minutes later, he spoke on social media, but did not confirm these findings. – Within 24 hours we reached a distance of 200 kilometers from Moscow. Now is the moment when blood can be shed. We regroup our columns and move towards the field camps, explained Prigozhin. The Wagnerians left Rostov-on-Don on Saturday before midnight. Prigozhin – farewelled with applause and applause – left the city in a black SUV.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ARKADY BUDNITSKY



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