On Friday evening, the leader of Wagner accused the Russian army of bombing camps for its forces in Ukraine, killing a massive number of Wagner fighters, calling for a rebellion against the Russian army, which rejected by Moscow.
“They launched strikes, missile strikes, on our rear camps… A huge number of our fighters have been killed,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said in an audio message released by his office.
Wagner leader vowed to respond to this bombing, and confirmed that it was the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, who issued the order to carry it out.
Prigozhin said, “The leadership of Wagner Group decided that those who bear military responsibility in the country should be stopped,” stressing that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will be stopped and called on the army not to resist its forces.
Prigozhin pointed out that there are 25,000 of us, and we will determine the cause of the spread of chaos in the country… Our strategic reserve is the entire army and the entire country,” expressing his welcome to everyone who wants to join us in order to end the chaos”.
For its part, the Russian army confirmed that it didn’t bomb Wagner sites, denying the accusations leveled against it.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement, “The messages and video posted by Prigozhin on social media regarding supposed strikes launched by the Russian Ministry of Defense on the rear bases of the Wagner, don’t correspond to reality and constitute a provocation”.
For its part, the Kremlin said that President Vladimir Putin had been briefed on developments related to the Wagner leader and that all necessary measures were being taken, while Russia’s Anti-Terrorism Committee said that it had charged the Wagner leader with armed insurrection.
The head of the Russian armed Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that his forces crossed the Ukrainian border into the city of Rostov in southern Russia, threatening that he would destroy anyone who crossed his path.
“We’re continuing and we will go to the end,” Prigozhin said in an audio message on Telegram, after announcing that his forces had crossed the borders of the Russian state after they deployed in Ukraine, and Prigozhin assures that he has 25 thousand fighters”.
“We only fight professionals,” he added, saying he didn’t want to kill children, but he also stressed that we will destroy everything that gets in our way.
Russian forces deployed military checkpoints near the headquarters of the Southern Military District in the city of Rostov, and police patrols conducted in the city center, in addition to flying military helicopters over the region.
Security measures have also been tightened near all important centers and institutions in the capital, Moscow, and additional guards have been deployed around them.
The official Russian Tass news agency reported at Saturday evening that security measures tightened in Moscow in the wake of Wagner’s leader call for an armed rebellion against the military leadership.
An unnamed security official quoted by TASS as saying, “Security measures have been tightened in Moscow… The most important sites are subject to strict security measures,” as well as “state agencies and transportation facilities”.
The Kremlin said that the Russian Prosecutor General told President Vladimir Putin to open an investigation into an attempted armed rebellion in the country.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov informed Vladimir Putin of the context of opening a criminal investigation into an attempt to organize an armed rebellion.
The Kremlin confirmed that the president is aware around the clock of reports about an attempt to organize an armed rebellion.
Peskov told Russian news agencies that the special services and law enforcement agencies, that is, the Ministry of Defense, the Security Service, the Ministry of Interior and the National Guard, constantly inform the president of the measures taken to implement the instructions given to them.
The deputy commander of the Russian campaign in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, urged the Wagner fighters to abandon their resistance to the military leadership and return to their bases.
“The enemy is waiting for the deterioration of the internal political situation in our country,” he said in a video message posted on Telegram.
And the Interfax news agency reported that the Russian Federal Security Service said earlier on Friday that the statements of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner, regarding revenge for Moscow’s killing of thousands of his men, amounted to a call for the start of an armed civil conflict.
He urged Wagner’s fighters to arrest Prigozhin.