It’s A Big Mistake To Attack Russia: Furious Putin Says Wagner Group Action Is ‘Treason,’ Promises ‘Harsh’ Punishment

It’s A Big Mistake To Attack Russia: Furious Putin Says Wagner Group Action Is ‘Treason,’ Promises ‘Harsh’ Punishment

By Spy Uganda Correspondent 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Wagner Group mercenaries that armed mutiny is treason and anyone who takes up arms against Russia would be punished.

Putin promised, in an emergency televised address, to take decisive action to stabilize Rostov-on-Don, a southern Russian city where Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his forces had taken control of all military installations.

“It is a blow to Russia, to our people. And our actions to defend the Fatherland against such a threat will be harsh. All those who deliberately stepped on the path of betrayal, who prepared an armed insurrection, who took the path of blackmail and terrorist methods, will suffer inevitable punishment, will answer both to the law and to our people,” Putin said, calling the Wagner group’s action a “stab in the back.”

Earlier Saturday, Russia said an anti-terrorist operation regime is up and running in Moscow, after Prigozhin vowed to overthrow Russia’s military leadership.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement, posted on Telegram that was directed to the mercenary fighters, that they had been deceived and drawn into a “criminal adventure” orchestrated by Prigozhin.

 

VOA News
In this image taken from video, a woman poses for a photo at a Russian armored vehicle, with writing reading ‘Siberia,’ parked in a street in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023.
In this image taken from video, a woman poses for a photo at a Russian armored vehicle, with writing reading ‘Siberia,’ parked in a street in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wagner Group mercenaries Saturday that armed mutiny is treason and anyone who takes up arms against Russia would be punished.

Putin promised, in an emergency televised address, to take decisive action to stabilize Rostov-on-Don, a southern Russian city where Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his forces had taken control of all military installations.

“It is a blow to Russia, to our people. And our actions to defend the Fatherland against such a threat will be harsh. All those who deliberately stepped on the path of betrayal, who prepared an armed insurrection, who took the path of blackmail and terrorist methods, will suffer inevitable punishment, will answer both to the law and to our people,” Putin said, calling the Wagner group’s action a “stab in the back.”

Earlier Saturday, Russia said an anti-terrorist operation regime is up and running in Moscow, after Prigozhin vowed to overthrow Russia’s military leadership.

FILE – Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company, arrives during a funeral ceremony at the Troyekurovskoye cemetery in Moscow, Russia, on April 8, 2023.
FILE – Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company, arrives during a funeral ceremony at the Troyekurovskoye cemetery in Moscow, Russia, on April 8, 2023.
Russia is appealing to the mercenaries of the Wagner Group to abandon the organization and its leader.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement, posted on Telegram that was directed to the mercenary fighters, that they had been deceived and drawn into a “criminal adventure” orchestrated by Prigozhin.

Prigozhin said early Saturday his forces had seized control of the Russian army’s headquarters in Rostov and that his forces were in control of the city’s military sites.

FILE – Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force, speaks in Paraskoviivka, Ukraine in this still image from an undated video released on March 3, 2023.
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“We are inside the (army) headquarters, it is 7:30 a.m. (0430 GMT). Military sites in Rostov, including an aerodrome, are under control,” Prigozhin said in a video on Telegram.

Prigozhin and his fighters had crossed from Ukraine into Russia and entered Rostov, facing no resistance by border guards. Prigozhin said his men were ready to go “all the way” against the Russian military and would destroy anyone who stood in their way.

“Everyone who will try to put up resistance … we will consider it a threat and destroy it immediately, including any checkpoints that will be in our way and any aircraft that we see over our heads. I am asking everyone to remain calm and not succumb to provocations, stay in their homes. It is advisable not to go outside along the route of our movement,” he continued.

“After we finish what we started, we will return to the front to defend our Motherland,” Prigozhin said. “There are 25,000 of us, and we are going to figure out why this country is in such a mess. Twenty-five thousand are expected as a tactical reserve, and the strategic reserve is the whole army and the whole country. Everyone who wants to join. We must end this disgrace,” he said.

Officials in Voronezh reported Saturday a military column moving on federal highway M4 Don, but it was not immediately clear which direction the column is moving. In addition, the mayor of Moscow has announced that “anti-terrorist measures are being implemented” in the capital, with checkpoints possibly being set up on the roads.

The White House said it is monitoring the standoff between top Russian military officials and the Wagner force and will be consulting with allies and partners on developments, National Security Council spokesperson Adam Hodge said.

British officials said Saturday they are monitoring the situation in Russia. “Over the coming hours, the loyalty of Russia’s security forces, and especially the Russian National Guard, will be key to how the crisis plays out. This represents the most significant challenge to the Russian state in recent times,” Britain’s Defense Ministry said in a tweet.

The Wagner chief also attacked the ruling elite, saying greed fueled its desire to absorb the assets from Ukraine’s Donbas region. “The task was to divide material assets,” he said. “There was massive theft in the Donbas, but they wanted more.”

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