Russian security service urges Wagner fighters to detain group’s leader
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) urged Wagner fighters to detain their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, after the head of the paramilitary group accused Russian forces of attacking his mercenaries, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied those claims late Friday amid escalating tension between the Kremlin and the Wagner Group.
The FSB said in a statement that Prigozhin's actions were a ''stab in the back''
It called on the fighters not to carry out Prigozhin's ''criminal and treacherous'' orders and to detain him.
Russia sent armored vehicles into Moscow amid heightened security.
Generals accused Prigozhin of an attempted coup with Russia's top commander in Ukraine, Sergey Surovikin, urging Wagner fighters to obey President Vladimir Putin.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin has been fully briefed on the situation with Prigozhin and that all necessary measures are being taken.
Meanwhile, Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee opened a criminal case against Prigozhin on charges of incitement to armed rebellion and demanded he "stop the illegal actions."
Earlier, Progozhin shared a voice message on Telegram that claimed Russian forces had attacked his paramilitary group.
After a reported rocket strike on the Wagner Group, Prigozhin accused the Russian Defense Ministry and personally swore to "punish" the perpetrators and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.
"There's 25,000 of us and we're coming to figure out why there's such chaos in the country," said Prigozhin. “These 25,000 are waiting as a tactical reserve, and the strategic reserve is the whole army and the whole country. Anyone who wants come and join! We need to end this mess.”
He then claimed that Shoygu came to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to "carry out an operation to destroy Wagner," adding that he used artillerymen and helicopter pilots "in the dark."
Progozhin claimed Thursday that Russian military chiefs are deceiving Putin.
He highlighted a discrepancy between his information and official data, claiming “shameless lies are being brought to the president's desk."
He added that he expects a new wave of military mobilization in Russia and said, "People have to be prepared" to replace soldiers who have died in battle.
Prigozhin has, in recent months, repeatedly accused the Russian Defense Ministry and Shoygu of not supplying sufficient arms to the paramilitary group, members of whom are fighting with Ukrainian forces in year two of the Ukraine war.
Earlier, the Wagner leader claimed Ukraine's armed forces were 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Russian positions in the Zaporizhzhia region. At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that all of Ukraine's attacks were repulsed.