Wagner’s Prigozhin refuses to lay down arms ignoring Russian president’s call
The Wagner private military company PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin has disagreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s words that he is committing treason against the motherland.
He said that all the Wagner soldiers “were and are fighting" and are not going to "surrender at the request of the president, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and someone else, News.Az reports citing Kommersant.
Earlier, Putin called Yevgeny Prigozhin's rebellion "betrayal" and "treason", as well as "a blow to Russia."
Meanwhile, commenting on the matter, Russian Federation Council (SF) Speaker Valentina Matvienko said the SF "has the full support of the president".
According to her, what is important now is "a responsible and consolidated position of the entire society, the residents and the leadership of all the subjects of the federation, without exception".
"The strength of such a vast, multinational, multiconfessional country lies in the unity based on everyone's civic position and in our historical intolerance of betrayal and provocation," Matvienko wrote.
Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that the regular Russian army had launched a missile strike on the Wagnerites’ rear camps. Prigozhin claimed that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Rostov, where he personally conducted an operation to wipe out the mercenaries.
Prigozhin's 25,000 mercenaries are allegedly going to "restore justice". At the same time, he asked not to call it a "military coup". Prigozhin added that Shoigu had cowardly fled Rostov and "this creature will be stopped". The Russian Defence Ministry called the information a provocation.
Photos and videos of armoured vehicles on the streets of the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don are being posted on Russian social media following Prigozhin’s statement about a de facto declaration of war against the Russian army. Checkpoints are set up at entrances to Moscow.
Prigozhin claimed that his forces had taken control of military facilities in Rostov-on-Don, including the air base, and were heading "to Moscow" and that his soldiers had shot down three Russian helicopters.