‘Criminal enterprise’: Putin accuses Wagner Group of leading ‘armed mutiny’ in televised address

Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Vladimir Putin]

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, began his speech to the country on television on Saturday after Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian mercenary army, issued a warning that Russia should dismiss the Defence Ministry’s leadership due to its alleged inefficiency.

“What we are facing is precisely treachery… excessive ambitions and personal interests led to treason (against) their country and people, and to the cause for which Wagner fighters and commanders fought and died side by side with our other units and divisions,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation.
“Those who organised a military mutiny… who took up arms against their comrades… betrayed Russia and will answer for it. This is a blow to Russia… our people. Our actions to protect the fatherland from such a threat will be harsh.

He referred to the mercenary chief’s violent insurrection as “betrayal” and pledged to “defend the people” and Russia.

Earlier today, after being accused of “armed rebellion” by the Kremlin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group in Russia threatened to “go all the way” to overthrow the country’s military leadership.

Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that his Wagner fighters had entered Rostov-on-Don after crossing the border from Ukraine into Russia.

Anyone who stood in their way would be destroyed, according to Prigozhin. The local governor advised residents to maintain calm and stay indoors.

According to Prigozhin, a Russian military helicopter that “opened fire on a civilian convoy” was shot down by his men. He did not provide a place, therefore the claim could not be confirmed right away.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to deliver a national address in 5 minutes, according to Russian state media.

Meanhwile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to deliver a national address shortly, according to Russian state media.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has urged Wagner Group private military company soldiers to cease their armed insurrection, urging them to return to their bases.

In a statement on Saturday, the ministry claimed that members of the PMC “have been tricked into taking part in [Wagner group chief Evgeny] Prigozhin’s criminal gamble,” adding that some Wagner fighters “have already understood their mistake”and have asked the authorities for help in safely returning to their permanent deployment areas.

“This assistance has already been provided to those soldiers and commanders who sought it,” the ministry stated, asking Wagner members to “show prudence and get in touch with representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry of law enforcement agencies as soon as possible.”

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