Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023

“Civilians happy” to meet Wagner’s militiamen, and clear evidence of “serious security problems” in Russia. That’s how Yevgeny Prigozhin reads it, two days after his abortive rebellion. Without saying where he has gone into exile, Wagner’s boss emerged from his silence on Monday in an eleven-minute message in which he asserts that his men have covered 780 kilometers on the road to Moscow, encountering little resistance.

He reiterates that if his troops stopped “barely 200 km from Moscow”, it was above all because he did not want “to shed Russian blood” and “not to overthrow power in the country”. And so he places particular emphasis on the support this march on the capital may have met with from Russian civilians. “They] would come out to meet us with Russian flags and Wagner emblems, they were happy when we arrived and passed by them,” he recounts.

It was “a march for justice”…
Yevgeny Prigozhin does not change course. He reiterates his criticism of the Russian Army General Staff. “The aim of the march was not to allow the destruction of the Wagner group and to hold accountable those who, through their unprofessional actions, made a considerable number of mistakes during the special military operation” in Ukraine, he insists, believing that Wagner has “a high level of organization that should be that of the Russian army”. His revolt, which he describes as a “march for justice”, was therefore a “demonstration” of how the offensive in Ukraine should, in his view, have been carried out.

In his much-anticipated speech, the ex-putschist also asserted that his organization had shot down Russian air force aircraft, a claim that Moscow has not confirmed. “We’re sorry we had to shoot down the air force, but they were throwing bombs and rockets at us,” says Yevgeny Prigozhin. According to him, the Ministry tried to dismantle Wagner by absorbing it, then struck one of its camps, killing thirty people.

Finally, the paramilitary group’s boss claimed that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who negotiated the end of the mutiny with Vladimir Putin’s agreement, had proposed solutions to allow Wagner to survive. “Mr. Lukashenko reached out and offered to find solutions for the continuation of the Wagner group’s work in a legal manner,” he says. The Kremlin assures us that Yevgeny Prigozhin has found refuge in Belarus.

By admin