Putin: “Soldiers effectively prevented ‘civil war'”


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Status: 06/27/2023 3:26 p.m

After the end of the Wagner uprising, the Kremlin seeks a show of leadership and strength. In a speech, Russia’s President Putin spoke of a “civil war” that security forces had prevented.

In a speech, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin thanked the Russian security forces for preventing a de facto “civil war” on June 24. “Together with your brothers in arms, you resisted these riots, the result of which would inevitably have been chaos,” Putin said, referring to the armed uprising of the Wagner mercenaries. “They defended the constitutional order, the life, security and freedom of our citizens, saved our homeland from shocks and effectively prevented a civil war.”

Neither the army nor the population supported the uprising over the weekend, Putin said. “People who were drawn into the rebellion saw that the army and the people were not on their side.”

Putin grants Wagner funding for the first time

In his outdoor speech to several hundred members of various security services, Putin also recalled the pilots who were killed in their attacks on the Wagner column on Saturday. The members of the Ministry of Defense, the National Guard, the domestic intelligence agency FSB, the Interior Ministry and the Presidential Security Service commemorated the dead with Putin in a minute’s silence. Wagner troops had shot down several helicopters and an airplane on Saturday.

For the first time, the Kremlin boss admitted that the Wagner troupe was completely financed by the Russian state. According to Putin, the group received a total of 86.26 billion rubles (around 930 million euros) from the state budget from May 2022 to May 2023. Officially, the Wagner Army calls itself a private military company.

Kremlin does not see Putin weakened

The Kremlin continues to try to put Russia, and especially President Putin, in a strong position. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, disagreed that the weekend’s events shook the country’s power structure and weakened the president. He spoke of “meaningless discussions that have nothing to do with reality”. Rather, the events have shown how much society stands behind the president, he added. Peskow also denounced “ultra-emotional outbursts of anger among political scientists and pseudo-political scientists”.

Prigozhin’s jet apparently in Belarus

After the uprising of the mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozchin and his Wagner army the criminal proceedings against him had been dropped as announced by the Kremlin. Peskov justified the impunity after Putin announced on Saturday that the masterminds of the uprising would face “inevitable punishment.” Putin “wanted to prevent the worst,” said Peskov. There was a “clear agreement” to avoid the worst scenario. Putin made “certain promises” and “guarantees” for this, which are now being implemented.

Another part of the agreement was that Prigozhin should go into exile in Belarus. However, his whereabouts remain unclear. The independent project Belaruski Hayun, which specializes in monitoring military activities, recently released the information that Prigozhin’s private jet landed at a military airfield outside the Belarusian capital Minsk on Tuesday morning. It is unclear whether the Wagner boss was on board.

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