Moscow opens criminal proceedings
Wagner boss calls for an uprising against army leadership
6/23/2023 9:54 p.m
The power struggle between the Wagner boss and the Russian army leadership escalates. Prigozhin accuses Defense Minister Shoigu of having bombed his military camp. Unlike usual, this time there was an immediate reaction from Moscow. The FSB opened criminal proceedings, Putin was informed.
The head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner has accused the Russian military leadership of bombing his troops. A “very large” number of Wagner mercenaries were killed as a result of the attacks, Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement published by his press service voice message. The mercenary chief accused the Russian defense minister of having ordered the attacks on Wagner troop camps.
The mercenary chief accuses Sergei Shoigu of personally ordering a rocket and helicopter attack on his troops. “He used gunners and pilots in helicopters to destroy us in the dark,” Prigozhin’s telegram said. Shoigu traveled to Rostov-on-Don on the border with eastern Ukraine for this purpose. “At 9:00 p.m. he fled – cowardly as a woman – so as not to explain why he had taken off helicopters and had rocket attacks carried out to kill our boys. This beast will be stopped,” Prigozhin continued.
“We were ready to make concessions to the Defense Ministry to give up our weapons,” Prigozhin said. Nevertheless, “they carried out rocket attacks on our rear camps”. The Wagner boss vowed to “respond” to the attacks and “stop” the Russian military leadership.
FSB secret service opens criminal proceedings
Prigozhin called on the Russian soldiers to mutiny against the Russian military leadership. “We are 25,000,” Prigozhin continued in his voice message, calling on “everyone who wants to join us” to “put an end to the chaos.” It is not a coup, but a “march for justice”.
The denial from Moscow came immediately. Defense Minister Shoigu denied attacks on the Wagner mercenaries. Literally it says on the Telegram-Channel: “All the news and videos spread on social networks in the name of Prigozhin about the alleged ‘carrying out an attack by the Russian Ministry of Defense on the rear Wagner camps’ do not correspond to reality and represent an informative provocation.” The Ministry of Defense is usually silent on the allegations that the Wagner boss has been making against the army leadership in Moscow for weeks.
According to the state news agency Tass, the Russian secret service FSB opened criminal proceedings against Prigozhin. This is accused of armed mutiny, reported Tass. According to the Interfax agency, President Vladimir Putin is aware of all events affecting Prigozhin. According to the Kremlin, necessary measures are being taken, reports Interfax.
Prigozhin questions the reasons for the war
Only in the morning did Prigozhin question the official Russian reasons for the war. Contrary to Russian propaganda claims, Prigozhin said in a published video that Russia was not at all threatened by Ukraine before the war began in February 2022. The alleged “insane aggression” on the part of Kiev and NATO never happened. “The defense ministry is trying to deceive the president and the public,” said Prigozhin, again aiming at Shoigu.
“The military special operation was started for completely different reasons.” Then the mercenary boss added: “The war was necessary for Shoigu to receive the title of marshal. (…) And not to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine.” In addition, Russian and pro-Russian oligarchs hoped for benefits from the war, said Prigozhin.