The Star Bulletin - Daily News Updates

Putin says that the Wagner mercenary group’s armed revolt is a betrayal and that he will protect Russia.


An ongoing dispute regarding the invasion of Ukraine between the Russian military and Yevgeny Prigozhin, the director of Russia’s private Wagner military group, came to a head this past day in the form of an open confrontation. This dispute has been going on for quite some time.

Prigozhin accused Russia of targeting his soldiers and appeared to contradict one of President Vladimir Putin’s primary grounds for the war. In response, Russian generals accused him of attempting to stage a coup against Putin. Prigozhin’s statements appeared to challenge one of Putin’s primary justifications for the conflict.

Prigozhin (whose name is pronounced pree-GOH-hin) asserted that he commanded the southern military headquarters of Russia in the city of Rostov-on-Don. This city is located close to the front lines of the conflict in Ukraine, where Prigozhin’s forces had been engaged. It was captured on video that he entered the headquarters’ courtyard.

Since Putin invaded Ukraine at the beginning of last year, Prigozhin’s actions have created the most significant obstacle to Putin’s authority. Putin had promised “decisive actions,” and Russian security services were working feverishly to restore control in the southern region of the country.

The sequence of events moved quite quickly:

In films that were published on social media yesterday, Prigozhin continued to voice his disapproval of the Russian armed forces. It was reported that Russian troops had raided Wagner encampments and killed “a huge number of fighters.” Even though his statements were unable to be validated, he maintained that he would send soldiers into Russia as a form of revenge.

Videos showed Wagner forces driving tanks through the streets of Rostov as other troops, widely thought to be part of Wagner’s forces, besieged the military headquarters there. Additionally, soldiers were spotted in other significant locations, such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the region.

Videos that have been posted online show that active fighting can be seen near the city of Voronezh, which is located in the western region of Russia. These videos show helicopters and a truck that has been destroyed along the road. There were rumors that Wagner forces had made their way into the region.

Prigozhin announced that his forces would be heading to Moscow in the near future. He stated, “We are going farther,” and I agreed. “We will see this through to the very end.”

Moscow and Rostov-on-Don both had a presence of Russian military armored vehicles on the streets, and Russia was moving convoys of military equipment along a major highway that connected the two cities.

It appears that Russian security authorities conducted a search warrant at a Wagner building in St. Petersburg as well.

Putin has made a commitment “to stabilize the situation in Rostov-on-Don.” In addition to this, he characterized Wagner’s actions as an act of armed insurrection and treason. Prigozhin did not believe the charges to be true.

The most important figures Prigozhin: Although he has been complaining about Russia’s military brass for some months, his claims represented a substantial turnaround in his position. Prigozhin is a businessman who became wealthy as a result of his connections to Putin. Through these connections, he was able to secure lucrative government contracts while simultaneously constructing the Wagner mercenary force. (You can learn more about him from Anton Troianovski, who is the Moscow bureau chief for The Times.)

Putin: The urgency with which he addressed the public at such short notice reflected the gravity of the situation. According to what Steven Lee Myers wrote in The Times, he prefers to exercise power behind the scenes until it is clear what the outcome will be. Putin also acknowledged some success by Prigozhin, saying that the functioning of Rostov, a city of a million people, had “essentially been blocked.”

The generals: Prigozhin’s feud with the Russian generals grew out of the battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which his forces led on the Russian side. He leveled charges of treason against the country’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, as well as Valery Gerasimov, the most senior general in the military. He claimed that they had withheld ammunition and supplies on purpose from Wagner while their troops repeatedly failed in the war.

Ukraine: “Russia’s weakness is obvious,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said. But his country was still mired in violence. Russian forces fired more than 20 missiles at Kyiv this morning, killing at least three people.

By Patsy S. Nielsen

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