The leader of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenary force is being probed for encouraging mutiny after accusing Russia of unleashing a lethal missile strike on his troops. Yevgeny Prigozhin declared that the “evil” in military leadership must be halted, and vowed to “march for justice.”
According to the BBC, authorities have denied the strike and ordered him to stop his “illegal actions.”
According to his spokeswoman, President Putin is aware of the issue and is taking all necessary actions. It shows an incredible rise of infighting within Russia.
The Wagner Group is a paramilitary group fighting with Russian forces in Ukraine. Prigozhin has become increasingly public in his criticism of Putin and Russia’s military leadership in recent months.
In an audio message released to the social media platform Telegram, he claimed that “huge numbers” of his soldiers were murdered in a Russian military strike on a Wagner camp, but he gave no evidence to back up his allegations.
“Those who killed our lads, as well as tens of thousands of Russian soldiers,” he declared, “will be punished.”
“I implore you not to resist. Anyone who does so will be deemed a threat and will be killed. That includes any checks and flights along the way.
“The presidency, the government, the police, and the Russian guard will continue to operate as usual.”
“This is a march of justice, not a military coup.” Our efforts have no negative impact on the military.”
Gen Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, whom Prigozhin has previously lauded, has urged him to “stop the convoys and return them to their bases.”
“We are of one blood, warriors,” he stated in a video. “You must not play into the hands of the enemy at a difficult time for our country.”
Prigozhin has publicly criticised Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
According to Russian official media, the Russian security services, the FSB, have opened a criminal case against Prigozhin, accusing him of “calling for an armed rebellion” and seeking to start an armed civil war in Russia.
The FSB has also reportedly urged on Wagner fighters to defy Prigozhin’s orders and pursue him.
According to the Russian military ministry, “all reports by Prigozhin spread on social media” of Russian strikes on Wagner camps are “not true and are an information provocation.”
According to Russian news agency Interfax, the Kremlin has also stated that “necessary measures are being taken.”
In a late-Friday tweet, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence simply stated, “We are watching.”
It follows Prigozhin’s video message in May, in which he stood surrounded by the bodies of his troops and chastised Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, as well as Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, for failing to provide adequate ammunition.
Earlier in the day, he stated that the war in Ukraine was launched “so that Shoigu could become Marshal.”
“The Ministry of Defence is attempting to deceive the public, deceive the president, and tell a story that there was some crazy aggression by Ukraine, that Ukraine was planning to attack us along with the entire Nato bloc,” he claimed.
The Wagner Group
The Wagner Group is a Russian private military company (PMC). It attracted international notice as a result of its engagement in different conflicts and operations all around the world. Dmitry Utkin, a former Russian military intelligence officer and veteran of the Russian special forces, founded the organisation.
The Wagner Group rose to attention in 2014, when it was involved in Russia’s takeover of Crimea. Since then, the group has been linked to a number of military actions and conflicts, notably the war in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass and the Syrian Civil War, where it allegedly fought on behalf of the Russian government.
The Wagner Group’s ties with the Russian government has been the subject of much speculation. While the Russian government denies any direct involvement, evidence suggests that the group has deep ties to Russian military and intelligence institutions. According to some sources, the Wagner Group functions as a proxy force, carrying out tasks on behalf of the Russian government while maintaining a level of denial.
The Wagner Group’s operations have expanded beyond Ukraine and Syria. It is said to have been involved in crises in Libya, the Central African Republic, and other areas where Russian interests are at stake. The group is frequently engaged by governments or organisations that share Russian foreign policy aims.
It is vital to emphasise that private military organisations such as the Wagner Group operate in a legal limbo, raising questions about accountability and human rights breaches. The group has been accused of a variety of crimes, including atrocities and violations of international law.
Overall, the Wagner Group is a contentious organisation recognised for its involvement in wars and ties to Russian interests. Its activities have sparked concerns about the role of private military contractors in modern combat and the ramifications for international security.