An military rebellion led by Wagner, a mercenary group who fought for Russia, is reportedly advancing towards Moscow. This comes after Wagner’s vehicles, including military tanks, were spotted in a second Russian city. The uprising follows a call to arms by Wagner group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. In a video, Prigozhin asserted that he and his troops had seized the military headquarters in the crucial Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
Prigozhin declared in the video:
“This is not a military coup, but a march of justice. The evil embodied by the country’s military leadership must be stopped.”
Responding to this act of defiance, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Prigozhin’s armed revolt as treason and a “mortal blow” to Russia’s military strength. In a televised emergency address, Putin vowed punitive measures against anyone who chose to align against his military. Adding fuel to the fire, Prigozhin challenged Russia’s top general Valery Gerasimov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu to meet him in Rostov-on-Don, or face the consequence of a city blockade and a potential march towards Moscow.
Wagner’s progress was observed in Voronezh on Saturday, with a Reuters witness confirming the presence of a column of Wagner’s vehicles. Among the vehicles was a flatbed truck with a military tank, adding to the growing apprehension about Wagner’s intentions.
Earlier on Saturday, a Russian security source disclosed to Reuters that Wagner fighters had gained control of several military facilities in Voronezh, a city situated approximately 310 miles south of Moscow. This new development solidified the escalating threat Wagner’s rebellion posed, and concerns grew about potential disruptions to the Russian capital.