The attempted insurrection by the chief of the Wagner private military company, Evgeny Prigozhin, amounts to a betrayal of Russia and its people, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address to the nation on Saturday morning. He also vowed that the country’s law enforcement agencies will take decisive actions to restore order.
In a televised speech, Putin appealed to Russian service members and those “who have been drawn into this criminal gamble by deceit or threats.” He noted that Moscow is engaged in a historic struggle to safeguard its future while “repelling aggression from neo-Nazis and their masters” in the West.
Russian law enforcement agencies are keeping President Vladimir Putin up to date on measures being taken in response to an attempt by Wagner private military company (PMC) to stage a coup, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters, Peskov confirmed that the Russian Ministry of Defense, Federal Security Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and National Guard, “constantly, around the clock, report to the president on the measures taken in the context of the implementation of instructions.” The Kremlin spokesman did not provide any additional details.
Peskov also noted that Igor Krasnov, Russia’s prosecutor general, had informed Putin of criminal proceedings initiated in relation to “an attempt to organize an armed insurrection” by Wagner PMC. The spokesman noted that Krasnov also briefed Putin about the legal aspects of the matter.
On Friday, Evgeny Prigozhin accused the Russian military of launching a missile strike on a Wagner camp, claiming that it killed multiple PMC soldiers. He also vowed to “respond to this atrocity.” The Russian Defense Ministry dismissed the claim, describing it as “an information provocation.”
On Saturday morning, multiple media outlets reported increased military movement in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, with multiple videos posted to social media showing tanks parked on city crossroads and unidentified soldiers patrolling the streets and setting up roadblocks.