Sun. May 26th, 2024

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Putin's Mercenary Fighters Turn On Russia, March Towards Major City: 10 Facts

Moscow:
Russia accused the head of the powerful mercenary group Wagner of mounting an armed uprising and ordered his arrest as the growing animosity between rival Kremlin camps over the war in Ukraine spilled into open conflict.

Here are 10 facts about this big story:

  1. Russian authorities have tightened security in several regions after the Wagner group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin vowed to topple the Moscow leadership.

  2. “A decision has been taken to reinforce security measures in the region,” said Igor Artamonov, governor of the Lipetsk region south of Moscow. “I ask everyone to remain calm.” The region of Lipetsk is around 400 kilometres south of Moscow.

  3. In the southern region of Rostov, officials asked residents to stay home.

  4. Prigozhin today vowed to take all necessary steps to topple the country’s military leadership in Moscow, saying his forces would “destroy everything” in their way.

  5. “We are going onwards and we will go to the end,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a new audio message after vowing to sideline Russia’s military leadership.

  6. Wagner fighters had entered the southern Russian city of Rostov, Prigozhin said in an audio recording posted on Telegram. He said he and his men would destroy anyone who stood in their way.

  7. Russia’s FSB security service opened a criminal case against him and has called on the Wagner private military company forces to ignore his orders and arrest him.

  8. The showdown marked the most dramatic escalation in a long-running feud between the mercenary leader and Russia’s defense establishment that’s spiraled into what is the biggest challenge to Putin’s authority since he sent troops into Ukraine 16 months ago.

  9. President Vladimir Putin was getting round-the-clock updates from security officials on their efforts to counter “the attempt at an armed mutiny”.

  10. There was no immediate sign of Wagner fighters mobilising to carry out their outspoken commander’s threat, though Prigozhin claimed to have shot down a helicopter that challenged them.

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