We will defend our country from armed rebellion, says Putin

Wagner insurrection plunges Russia into uncertainty

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation Saturday and vowed to defend the country and its people from an armed rebellion declared by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, the New York Times reported.اضافة اعلان

Putin said the mutiny amounted to “a deadly threat to our statehood” and vowed “tough actions” in response. “All those who prepared the rebellion will suffer inevitable punishment. The armed forces and other government agencies have received the necessary orders,” Putin said.

He called Prigozhin’s actions, without referring to the owner of the Wagner private military company by name, “a betrayal” and “a treason.” He urged “those who are being dragged into this crime not to make a fatal and tragic, unique mistake, to make the only right choice — to stop participating in criminal acts.”
Those who carry deliberately on a path of treason, preparing an armed rebellion when you were preparing terrorist attacks, will be punished,
Putin condemned the rebellion at a time when Russia was “fighting the toughest battle for its future” with its war in Ukraine. “The entire military, economic,
 and information machine of the West is waged against us,” Putin said.

What happened?
The dramatic turn of events began on Friday when Prigozhin openly accused Russia’s military of attacking a Wagner camp and killing a “huge amount” of his men.

He vowed to retaliate with force, insinuating that his forces would “destroy” any resistance, including roadblocks and aircraft, according to CNN.

“There are 25,000 of us and we are going to find out why there is such chaos in the country,” he said.

Prigozhin later rowed back on his threat, saying his criticism of the Russian military leadership was a “march of justice” and not a coup — but by that point, he appears to have already crossed a line with the Kremlin.

The crisis then deepened as Prigozhin declared his fighters had entered Russia’s Rostov region and occupied key military installations within its capital. That city, Rostov-on-Don, is the headquarters for Russia’s southern military command and home to some one million people.

Prigozhin released a video saying his forces would blockade Rostov-on-Don unless Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russia’s top general Valery Gerasimov come to meet him.

Prigozhin has spent months railing against Shoigu and Gerasimov who he blames for Moscow’s faltering invasion of Ukraine.

Hours later Putin made an address to the nation that illustrated the depth of the crisis he now confronts.

“Those who carry deliberately on a path of treason, preparing an armed rebellion when you were preparing terrorist attacks, will be punished,” Putin said.

‘Informational propaganda’
“Any internal turmoil is a deadly threat to our statehood for us as a nation; it is a blow to Russia for our people and our actions to protect our homeland. Such a threat will face a severe response,” he added.

Russia’s Defense Ministry denied attacking Wagner’s troops, calling the claim “informational propaganda”.

And the Federal Security Service, Russia’s internal security force, also opened a criminal case against Prighozhin, accusing him of calling for “an armed rebellion,” according to CNN.

Russian officials meanwhile appeared to take no chances with security measures stepping up in Moscow, according to Russian state media TASS.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Saturday on Telegram that “anti-terrorist” measures to strengthen security were being carried out in the capital as a result of “incoming information.”

Social media posts showed military vehicles were seen driving around the main streets of the Russian capital in the early hours of Saturday.

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