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Wagner chief announces “march for justice” after alleged Russian strike on mercenary troops (UPDATES)

Wagner financier Prigozhin announces the PMC will withdraw from Bakhmut. Screenshot from footage
Wagner chief announces “march for justice” after alleged Russian strike on mercenary troops (UPDATES)

On 23 June, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner private military company which had committed war crimes in Bucha, accused the Russian Army of striking a Wagner camp in Ukraine.

According to Prigozhin, the company “is making a decision” on how to respond to a missile attack that killed “a huge number of fighters.”

In addition, the chief of the mercenary group vowed to “stop” Moscow’s top military leadership and called on Russians not to resist his forces.

“We are 25,000 strong, and we are going to figure out why chaos is happening in Russia,” Prigozhin announced on Telegram. “Everyone else is free to join us,” he said.

“It is not a military coup, it is a march for justice. Our actions in no way will hinder the troops,” Wagner’s head added.

Shortly after these messages, Prigozhin said that Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu had earlier arrived in Rostov deliberately to carry out an operation on the elimination of the mercenaries.

Earlier, Prigozhin, in an interview published on his Telegram channel dismissed Moscow’s claims that Kyiv was planning to launch an offensive on the Russian-controlled territories in eastern Ukraine in February 2022. He also blamed Shoigu for battlefield failures.

From decade in prison to “Putin’s chef”: who is Wagner CEO Evgeny Prigozhin

24 June, 00:12, update: Meanwhile, when analyzing the video posted by Russian military blogger Aleksandr Simonov before the alleged attack, Bellingcat journalist Aric Toler said, “It is as yet unclear if this footage shows the aftermath of a genuine attack or if it was staged.”

24 June, 00:21, update:

Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee announced that the Federal Security Service (FSB) has opened a criminal case against Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin for “armed mutiny” after the call for an attack on the military, according to RIA Novosti.

24 June, 00:28, update:

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is aware of the “unfolding situation” around Prigozhin and that “all necessary measures” are being taken, as per Kommersant.

24 June, 00: 48, update: 

Former Russian commander of military operations in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin, who had unleashed a barrage of air strikes on Ukraine two days after being promoted, turned to Wagner mercenaries and urged them to stop, according to the Telegram channel Reporter Rudenko. “The enemy is waiting for the internal political situation to worsen in our country,” he said.

24 June, 01:07, update:

In a tweet, commenting on the latest events in Russia, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said simply: “We are watching.”

24 June, 2:00: FSB launches criminal case against Wagner chief as Russia’s top brass implore mercenaries not to rebel

FSB launches criminal case against Wagner chief as Russia’s top brass implore mercenaries not to rebel

 

 

 

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