Fri. May 24th, 2024

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Mercenary Group Takes Key City, 'On Charge' To Moscow: 5 Developments

Russia has declared an “anti-terrorist operation regime” in Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing his biggest domestic crisis since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine after the head of the Wagner mercenary group said he has crossed into Russia with 25,000 troops.

Here are five key developments in this big story:

  1. Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared to suggest he had sent an armed convoy on a 1,200-km charge towards Moscow on Saturday in an unlikely attempt to topple the military leadership. Russian officials said a military convoy was on the main motorway linking the southern part of European Russia, bordering Ukraine, with Moscow, and warned residents to avoid it.

  2. In a video posted on Telegram, Mr Prigozhin announced that he was inside the army headquarters in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia, and that his fighters controlled the city’s military sites. Mr Prigozhin had earlier said his forces had crossed into Russia from the Ukrainian front, saying he and thousands of his fighters were “ready to die”.

  3. In a televised address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Mr Prigozhin’s actions were a “deadly threat” to Russia and amount to internal treason. He said the mercenary chief’s rebellion is like brother fighting brother and added that ‘traitors’ will be punished.

  4. Russia has declared an “anti-terrorist operation regime” in Moscow and the Moscow region “With the aim of preventing possible terrorist acts on the territory of the city of Moscow and the Moscow region, an anti-terror operation regime has been introduced,” the country’s national anti-terrorist committee said in a statement, according to Russian agencies. 

  5. A senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the actions of the Russian mercenary group chief as a “counter-terrorist operation” and said “everything is just beginning in Russia”, news agency Reuters reported. “The split between the elites is too obvious. Agreeing and pretending that everything is settled won’t work,” presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted.

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