OAN’s Roy Francis
8:10 AM – Saturday, June 24, 2023
The Wagner Group, led by chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, is reportedly moving north through Russian territory with the objective of ousting Russia’s military leadership in Moscow.
The Wagner Group have served as an unofficial private army for Russian President Vladimir Putin since they were founded in 2014. In Ukraine, the paramilitary group has been fighting alongside and providing critical support to Russian troops, and have also included thousands of former prisoners to fight among their ranks.
Throughout the war in Ukraine, Prigozhin has repeatedly accused military officials of starving his troops and not providing them with the supplies and ammunition that they need.
On Friday, Prigozhin released a series of videos and audio recordings accusing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of ordering a rocket strike on the Wagner Group’s field camps in Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry and Minister Shoigu denied the accusation.
Overnight, the group’s forces seized control of Russian military facilities in Rostov-on-Don, a city on the border with Ukraine which is also the home to Russian military headquarters that are overseeing the supply line to Russian forces in Ukraine.
Later on Saturday, approximately 300 miles north of Rostov-on-Don, Wanger Group forces reportedly reached Voronezh Oblast, making their way towards Moscow. The BBC reported a Wagner Group convoy with armed vehicles traveling on the M4 motorway that links Voronezh with Moscow.
Igor Artamonov, the regional governor, has said that the Wagner group is moving equipment in the region and has asked residents to remain indoors, adding that efforts are underway to put down the mutiny according to Reuters.
Prigozhin has denied the claims of a mutiny or rebellion, and has described the actions of his forces as a “march for justice” with the aim of fighting “corruption, deceit and bureaucracy” among the Russian military leaders.
Meanwhile, in a televised address on Saturday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the mutiny is a “deadly threat to our statehood” and that they will defend Russia against any threat, adding that there will be “tough actions” in response to what he called an “internal mutiny” and a “stab in the back” and that he will be “doing anything I can to repel this attack.”
Prigozhin rejected the Russian President’s accusations and said that Putin has “made the wrong choice,” and that Russia will soon have a “new president.”
According to various reports, the forces moving towards Moscow include Wagner forces as well as defected Russian military members.
Several sources have also reported that Putin has left Moscow and headed to St. Petersburg as the Wagner Group forces inch closer to the city. However, the Kremlin have denied the reports, claiming that the Russian President remains in Moscow to oversee the situation.
This is a developing story.
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