Warning bells sounded in Moscow as Wagners men go all out against Russian military
Warning bells are ringing in Moscow over fears that Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin might attempt at orchestrating a military coup in Russia. The enraged Wagner boss declared Saturday that his men had crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia and he was ready to go “all the way” against the Russian military.
"We are going onwards and we will go to the end," Yevgeny Prigozhin, 62, said in an audio message.
"We will destroy everything that stands in our way," he added in the most audacious challenge to President Vladimir Putin since the start of the offensive in Ukraine last year.
1.)Why Kremlin and Wagner chief are at loggerheads?
A long-running standoff between Kremlin and Russia’s top military brass seems to have come to a head. Earlier, the Wagner boss accused Russia of staging an attack on his men and killing 2,000 of them. "Today, seeing that we have not been broken, they conducted missile strikes at our rear camps," Prigozhin alleged.
Earlier, he also blamed the Russian defence ministry and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu for starting the war in Ukraine. He said, "The Armed Forces of Ukraine were not going to attack Russia with the NATO bloc. The Russian Defence Ministry is deceiving the public and the president."
2.)Kremlin orders Prigozhin’s immediate arrest, prosecution
As the Wagner boss vows to take revenge on the Russian authorities, the Kremlin has ordered his immediate arrest and prosecution. Russia also accused mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin of calling for an armed mutiny after he alleged, without providing evidence, that the military leadership had claimed the lives of 2,000 of his fighters and vowed to stop what he called its "evil".
Russia’s top commander in Ukraine, Sergey Surovikin, on Friday evening, urged the Wagner fighters to "stop" and to "obey the will" of President Vladimir Putin.
"I’m addressing the leadership, commanders and fighters of Wagner. Together with you, we have traveled a difficult and hard path. We fought together, took risks, suffered losses and we won together. We are of the same blood. We are warriors. I urge you to stop, the enemy is only waiting for the internal political situation to worsen in our country," Surovikin was quoted as saying in Russian state media reports.
3.)Security measures being taken in Moscow
Meanwhile, security around Moscow and the Kremlin has been beefed up. The military build-up in the area has been increasing for some hours now. Russian President Vladimir Putin is aware of the situation that is unfolding around Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the private military company Wagner, and the necessary measures are being taken, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, as per news agency TASS.
Reaction from the US
US National Security Council spokesperson Adam Hodge on Friday said that the US was monitoring the developing situation involving the Wagner fighters and Russia.