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What the hell is going on in Russia… What is the Wagner Group rebellion and the Belarusian deal?



Although the armed rebellion against the Russian army lasted less than 24 hours, it caused considerable uproar and confusion among the enemy forces. Let’s understand what was going on after all?

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s Private Wagner Army, asked his soldiers stationed in Ukraine to march to Moscow. He called this movement not a military coup but a “march for justice”. Prigozhin alleged that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is based on lies and called for an end to wrongdoing by the Russian military. According to the report, he alleged that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered to hide the bodies of 2,000 dead Wagnerian soldiers.

In turn, the Russian Federal Security Service brought criminal charges against Prigozhin for inciting an armed rebellion. A Kremlin spokesman confirmed that President Putin had been informed and that appropriate action was being taken.

Russia’s Deputy Commander for the Ukraine Campaign, General Sergei Surovikin, urged Wagner’s soldiers to drop their protest against the military leadership and return to their base. He posted a video message on social media platform Telegram urging the soldiers to stop their activities. Surovikin warned that the enemy anxiously anticipates the deterioration of Russia’s domestic political situation. Security has been tightened in government buildings, transport hubs and other important places in Moscow. Military vehicles were seen patrolling the streets of the city on Friday evening.

Saturday morning
As early as Saturday morning, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, announced on Telegram that his troops had crossed the Ukrainian border into Russia. They reached the Rostov region, located along the Ukrainian border. And he also talked about preparing to face the Russian army with it. Prigozhin threatened that anyone who got in his way would be destroyed.
Rostov Region Governor Vasily Golubev advised people in his region to stay indoors and stay calm and safe. He assured that law and order are taking necessary measures to keep the area safe.

Prigozhin claimed to be at the headquarters of the Southern Russian Military District in Rostov-on-Don with senior generals. His request was that he have a meeting with Chief of the General Staff and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Prigozhin warned that if his demands were not met, he would blockade Rostov and march towards Moscow.

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According to the Russian Anti-Terrorism Committee, an anti-terrorist regime has been established in and around Moscow. The Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement calling Wagner’s soldiers traitors, participants in a criminal organization organized by Prigozhin. He assured the fighters that they would be safe if they surrendered to the Russian army.

In a televised address, President Putin acknowledged the role of Wagner fighters in liberating Ukraine’s Donbass region, but strongly condemned Prigozhin for betraying Russia. According to Reuters, a convoy of around 5,000 soldiers from the Wagner Group then headed for the outskirts of Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin advised citizens to limit travel within the city as a precaution and declared a public holiday on Monday to reduce the risk.

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Video footage showed that the convoy of Wagner vehicles was at a distance of 500 km from Moscow. However, later reports indicated that Wagner’s forces began to withdraw from the Rostov-on-Don district military headquarters on Saturday evening. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, was also seen leaving the military headquarters in a video posted on Telegram.

Belarus offered to mediate
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that he had reached an agreement with Prigozhin to improve the situation. Prigozhin also agreed to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and returned to his hiding place. The Russian government has said Lukashenko offered mediation with Putin’s consent. Let us tell you that Alexander has a two-decade-old relationship with Prigozhin.

According to the Russian government, the case of armed rebellion against Prigozhin will be dropped. Prigozhin will be transferred to Belarus and no action will be taken in recognition of his past service to Russia for participating in Wagner’s Soldiers’ March for Justice. Nothing has come to the fore regarding the agreement reached between Prigozhin and the Russian government. Just Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov shared information about security guarantees for Prigozhin and his soldiers. (With contributions from The Associated Press and Reuters)

Keywords: Moscow, Russia, russia ukraine war, Ukraine, Vladimir Poutine