Mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group have started withdrawing from the city of Rostov-on-Don following a failed rebellion, returning to Ukraine as instructed by their chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin. This development comes amidst reports of rising tensions between Wagner Group and Russia’s military leadership, leading to the mercenaries taking control of regional military command and facilities, triggering a nationwide security alert.
- The Wagner Group, a private mercenary army, which has been fighting alongside the Russian army in Ukraine, attempted a rebellion against the Russian military, seizing control of the military command in Rostov-on-Don and other facilities in Voronezh.
- Increased tensions have been observed between Wagner mercenaries and Russia’s military leadership, with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the group’s chief, openly criticizing Russia’s approach to the conflict.
- In response to the escalating situation, President Vladimir Putin pledged to punish those who had “betrayed” Russia, while the mayor of Moscow urged residents to limit their travel amidst heightened security.
- After talks with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, Prigozhin ordered his troops to de-escalate the situation and return to Ukraine, leading to the cessation of charges against him and his troops, as stated by Russian state media.
- Speculation arose regarding President Putin’s location following the uprising, with rumors of his possible flight from Moscow; however, his press secretary confirmed that Putin remained in the Kremlin and announced that the Wagner mercenaries still had the option to contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense.
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