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Wagner column moves towards Moscow, bypassing Voronezh – Vyorstka

Source of the Russian media Vyorstka countered claims by Reuters and BBC that Wagner had taken control of Voronezh and instead said that PMC’s columns of equipment had moved to Moscow, bypassing the city. This is in line with video reports claiming to show the Russian equipment on the outskirts of Voronezh.

Citing its sources in law enforcement agencies, Vyorstka said that a Wagner column is moving along the Don highway in the direction of Moscow, bypassing Voronezh. Another military interlocutor dismissed claims that Wagner had seized military facilities in Voronezh following a takeover of Rostove is “nonsense” as they had not entered the city.

Residents of the Voronezh Oblast told “Vyorstka” that exits from the city to the federal highway “Don” are blocked from the south and north of Voronezh. “It is impossible to leave the city, there is a huge traffic jam, even shuttle buses are not allowed through,” said one of them. In the city itself, residents of nearby military facilities (an aircraft factory, a military base, an army headquarters and military schools) have not seen any traces of Wagner. In the city, the graduation ceremony at the military aviation academy scheduled for today was canceled.

In the night of 23 June, Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin accused the Russian MoD of striking a Wagner camp and announced a “march for justice,” vowing to “stop” Moscow’s top military leadership.

Russia’s official bodies denied any accusations of a strike on Wagner’s rear; the Russian FSB opened a criminal case against Prigozhin and Russia’s top brass called upon Wagner fighters to defy Prigozhin’s orders.

In the morning of 24 June, Prigozhin, who started his career as “Putin’s chef,” claimed control over military objects in Rostov-on-Don, a city that serves as the headquarters for Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine, stating that the Chief of General Staff ran away when he saw Wagner fighters approaching.

A conflict between Prigozhin and the Russian MoD has been months in the making, and Russian military leaders have sought to limit the role of the leader of Wagner, a private military company that has played a key role in Russia’s assault on Ukrainian cities.

Prigozhin had defied a demand by Russian Defense Ministry that Wagner Group members sign contracts directly, highlighting a deepening conflict within the Russian establishment. Instead, Prigozhin drafted his own “contract” and said he was awaiting an answer from Russia’s military leadership for it. Meanwhile, the deadline for the volunteer fighters to sign contracts with the MoD, 1 July, “is likely to be a key way-point in the feud,” the British intelligence assessed.

Vladimir Putin has vowed to stop the “armed rebellion” of Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“A stab in the back to our country”: Putin implores on soldiers to defy Prigozhin’s orders, vows to stop “armed rebellion”

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