Gama Times

russia ukrain war

Date: June 24, 2023

In a bold and unprecedented move, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organization, has announced his intention to topple the Russian military leadership, accusing them of launching strikes on his men. In an audio message released today, the 62-year-old Prigozhin declared, “We are going onwards, and we will go to the end. We will destroy everything that comes our way.”

 

 

This direct challenge poses a significant threat to the Russian regime led by President Vladimir Putin, who has labeled the Wagner Rebellion as an act of betrayal. Prigozhin is calling on all Russians to join his forces and punish the military leadership of the Putin government.

The Wagner Group, also known as PMC Wagner, operates outside the confines of the law in Russia and is essentially a private military company and a network of mercenaries. It gained prominence in 2014 while providing support to pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. Initially shrouded in secrecy, the group has expanded its operations across Africa and the Middle East. According to reports, it is estimated to have 50,000 fighters in Ukraine alone, making it a key component of the ongoing Ukraine campaign.

Prigozhin’s company, named after its first commander Dmitry Utkin, a retired lieutenant colonel of the Russian Military Special Forces, has garnered a reputation for its brutality and ruthlessness. The Wagner Group has been involved in capturing several key cities, including Bakhmut, Popasana, and Lysynchansk in eastern Ukraine.

The group has faced numerous allegations of human rights abuses, as reported by UN experts and Western nations, particularly during its operations in African countries such as the Central African Republic, Libya, and Mali. The Central African Republic sought the Wagner Group’s assistance to guard diamond mines, while it is believed to be protecting gold mines in Sudan.

Prigozhin has previously claimed credit for capturing the Donetsk region, Soledar, and Ukraine’s salt mining town. He has openly criticized the Russian Defense Ministry, accusing them of attempting to steal the Wagner Group’s accomplishments. Notably, he has singled out Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for severe criticism, highlighting the incompetence of military leaders.

The recent conflict between the Wagner Group and the Russian military escalated after Russia conducted missile strikes on the group’s rear camps, resulting in the loss of many fighters and comrades. Prigozhin has clarified that this is not a military coup but a quest for justice.

In a show of strength, the Wagner forces have taken control of the Southern Military District building in Rostov and seized the Ministry of Internal Affairs buildings. Russian authorities have urged residents of Rostov to stay at home, while the Moscow mayor has implemented anti-terrorism measures in the capital in response to Prigozhin’s threat to destroy the Russian military leadership.

The Russian Federal Security Service has initiated a criminal case against Prigozhin and has called on all Wagner Military Company forces to disregard his orders and apprehend him. However, anti-Putin figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky has urged Russians to support Prigozhin, emphasizing the importance of backing even the devil if he takes on the Kremlin.

The situation remains highly volatile as tensions escalate between the Wagner Group and the Russian military leadership, posing a significant challenge to President Putin’s control over the country.

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