Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian mercenary organisation Wagner Group, has made explosive claims that the Russian military deliberately attacked his troops with deadly missile strikes.
In response, he vowed to retaliate and called on fellow Russians to join him in punishing Moscow’s military leadership. The accusations have triggered a criminal investigation and intensified the ongoing power struggle within Russia.
Prigozhin’s revelations have garnered significant attention, prompting a response from the Kremlin. President Vladimir Putin has been informed of the situation, and the necessary measures are being taken, according to the official statement. Concurrently, the FSB security service has launched a criminal probe into calls for an “armed mutiny.”
In a series of furious audio messages released by his representatives, Prigozhin condemned the Russian military for allegedly conducting missile strikes on their rear camps, resulting in numerous casualties among his fighters. He firmly declared that the “evil” within the country’s military leadership must be stopped, urging Russians to unite behind his cause. He noted that their march for justice is not a military coup but a quest for accountability.
Prigozhin’s scathing criticism has targeted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, holding them responsible for the deaths of his fighters. He accused Moscow’s military leadership of deceiving President Putin and initiating the war in Ukraine for their own self-promotion and acquisition of material assets.
The Russian Defense Ministry swiftly denied the allegations, labeling them as misinformation and provocation. They underlined that the Russian armed forces continue their combat missions in Ukraine. The National Anti-Terror Committee echoed the sentiment, demanding an immediate halt to any illegal actions.
Prigozhin’s bold stance has positioned him as a prominent figure in Russian politics, but he has refrained from directly criticising President Putin, aiming to maintain his advantageous relationship with the leader. Observers suggest that Prigozhin’s actions serve to gain public approval amidst setbacks in Ukraine while testing the limits of the political system.
As the situation unfolds, the outcome of Prigozhin’s quest for justice against the Russian military remains uncertain. The intense infighting within the country and the criminal investigation launched against him highlight the complexity of power dynamics behind the scenes. The revelations have far-reaching implications, not only for Prigozhin but also for the future of the Russian military leadership.