Russia’s ‘private army’ moving towards Moscow, Wagner Group chief openly threatens

Russia's 'private army'
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Russia’s ‘private army’ moving towards Moscow, Wagner Group chief openly threatens

Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, a group of Russian mercenaries, has said that he will ‘end only by overthrowing Russia’s military leadership’.

A few hours before this, Russia had accused him of “military rebellion”.

Yevgeny Prigozhin has said that Wagner Group fighters have crossed the Ukrainian border and entered the city of Rostov-on-Don in Russia.

Meanwhile, according to reports from Russia, Yevgeny Prigozhin has taken control of the southern headquarters of the Russian army in the city of Rostov-on-Don.

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In one video, Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen entering the headquarters and shaking hands with military commanders stationed here.

In a video, Yevgeny Prigozin has said that if Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov do not reach him, he will move towards Moscow.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said, “We have reached here. We want to meet the army chief and Shoigu here. Until he arrives, we will stay here, lay siege to the city of Rostov, and then move on to Moscow.”

Meanwhile, the important highway M4 connecting Moscow with the southern provinces has been closed. The governor of Lipetsk province has confirmed this. The M4 highway connects Rostov and Moscow.

रोस्तोव की सड़कों पर वागनर समूह के लड़ाके
image copyright REUTERS

Yevgeny Prigozin has said that his fighters will destroy whatever comes in their way.

At the same time, the provincial governor has asked the citizens to remain calm and stay inside their homes. The news agency Reuters has released pictures of fighters of the Wagner group deployed on the streets of Rostov.

Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozin has claimed that his fighters have shot down a Russian helicopter that ‘attacked civilians in the convoy’.

वागनर समूह के लड़ाके
image copyright REUTERS
wagner group fighters
वागनर समूह के लड़ाके

However, he has not given the location of the incident and it is difficult to verify his claims immediately.

The Wagner Group is an army of private fighters fighting alongside the Russian military in the Ukraine War.

Tension was increasing between the Wagner group and the Russian army regarding the way of fighting in the war. Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin was becoming increasingly aggressive towards Russian military commanders.

On Friday, 62-year-old Yevgeny Prigozhin accused the Russian military of launching a missile attack targeting its fighters. However, he did not present its evidence.

At the same time, Russian officials rejected these allegations and said that they should stop ‘illegal activities’ immediately.

Yevgeny Prigozhin has said that it is necessary to stop the ‘evil’ dominating Russia’s military leadership. He said that he will move forward for justice.

रूस के रक्षा मंत्री सर्गेई शोइगू
image copyright EPA

A look at Putin and the situation in the Russian army

In an audio message posted on Telegram, Prigozhin said: “Those who killed our fighters and caused the deaths of tens of thousands of soldiers in the Ukraine war will be punished.”

Prigozhin said, “I would tell you not to protest. Anyone who opposes us will be considered a threat and will be destroyed. Same message to all nakas and planes coming in the way.

Prigozin has also said that this is not a military coup but a fight for justice.

He said, “The President’s Office, the government, the police and the Russian Guard will continue to function as before. This is not a military coup but a fight for justice. Our activities will not interfere in the way of the soldiers.

At the same time, the spokesperson of Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the President is monitoring the situation and is taking information about the developments every moment.

Meanwhile, security arrangements were tightened in the capital Moscow from Friday night itself. Troops have been deployed at government buildings and transport hubs.

At the same time, the governor of Lipetsk province has appealed to the citizens not to travel south.

Lipetsk is about 280 kilometers from the Ukraine border and 500 kilometers north of Rostov.

At the same time, in a tweet late on Friday, the Russian army had said, we are monitoring the situation.

America has said that it is monitoring the situation and will discuss it with America’s allies.

Meanwhile, General Surovoykin has appealed to Prigozhin in a message to stop his convoy and return to the base.

General Surovoykin is the deputy chief of Russian forces in Ukraine and has praised Prigozhin in the past.

General Surovaykin said, “Our blood is one, we are fighters. You should not become a puppet in the hands of the enemy in difficult times for our country.

Russia’s Federal Investigation Agency (FSB) has opened an investigation against Prigozhin, accusing him of calling for an armed rebellion against Russia, according to Russian state media. Prigozin is also accused of starting a military coup in Russia.

The FSB has told the fighters of the Wagner group not to obey Prigozhin’s orders and to take steps to capture him.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has issued a statement saying that all the reports Prigozin spread on social media about Russia’s attacks on Wagner Group fighters are fake.

Earlier in May, Prigozhin released a video of himself standing among the bodies of fighters and criticizing Russia’s defense minister and military commanders for not providing enough weapons to Wagner Group fighters.

On Friday, he claimed that the war in Ukraine was started so that Shoigu could be made a marshal.

That private army of Russia Wagner Group

वागनर समूह के प्रमुख येवगेनी प्रिगोज़िन
image copyright Getty Images

There are believed to be thousands of mercenaries fighting for Russia in Ukraine with the Wagner Group.

More recently, soldiers of the Wagner Group fought a long battle to take the city of Bakhmut from the Ukrainian army and played a key role in Russia’s advance.

The Wagner Group describes itself as a ‘private military company’, but now the Russian government appears to be taking steps to rein in the group, as its chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has claimed to have rebelled against President Putin.

The Wagner Group was first identified in 2014 when it was supporting pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine.

At that time it was a secret group, which was mostly active in Africa and the Middle East and it is believed that at that time only five thousand fighters were involved in this group, but most of them were Russian special forces soldiers.

How much money does a fighter of Wagner Group get?

वागनर समूह
image copyright REUTERS

Gradually the number of fighters in the group increased. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in January that the Wagner Group has about 50,000 fighters in Ukraine who are fighting on behalf of Russia.

The ministry told that the organization recruited on a large scale in 2022 as Russia was facing difficulties in recruiting people in its army.

At the same time, the US National Security Council said earlier this year that about 80 percent of the Wagner Group’s fighters fighting in Ukraine were recruited from prison.

A former soldier of the Wagner Group told the BBC that before the war in Ukraine, people who joined this group came from small villages. It was difficult to get good paying jobs in these villages. That’s why they used to join this group.

Those working in the Wagner Group used to get a salary of $ 1500 (about Rs 1.22 lakh). If a soldier went to fight in the battlefield, he used to get 2000 dollars (1.6 lakh rupees).

Although there is a ban on mercenary armies in Russia. Wagner Group registered itself as a company in 2022 and opened a new office in St. Petersburg.

Dr Samuel Ramani of the Royal United Services Institute think tank says the Wagner Group is openly recruiting fighters by putting up billboards in Russian cities and is being promoted in the Russian media as a patriotic organisation.

Wagner Group in Ukraine

When Russia occupied the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, the Wagner Group played an important role in it.

Ukrainian soldiers say that Wagner Group fighters were sent in large numbers to the boy in the open field, which resulted in many of their men being killed.

Russia’s Defense Ministry initially denied Wagner Group’s involvement in the fighting, though later praised its mercenaries for playing a courageous and selfless role.

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