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    Wagner’s Prigozhin Halts Advance on Moscow – Activist Post

    ByActivist Post

    Jun 24, 2023

    By Will Porter

    Russia’s Wagner Group has called off its march on Moscow, its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday, agreeing to end a two-day mutiny after the mercenary firm claimed it seized a military base in the city of Rostov-on-Don and began to advance toward the capital.

    Prigozhin shared a brief audio statement to social media confirming the decision, saying that the PMC would return to its “field camps” and continue their previous operations in Ukraine “according to plan.”

    “They wanted to disband PMC Wagner. On June 23, we went on a ‘March of Justice’ in a day. We advanced on Moscow just 200km short, and during this time we did not shed a single drop of the blood of our fighters,” he said.

    Earlier on Saturday, the Wagner chief announced that his troops had captured the Southern Military District headquarters in Rostov, less than one day after accusing the Russian military of launching a missile strike on a Wagner position and vowing to take his complaints directly to the Kremlin. He harshly criticized the leadership of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, demanding his resignation along with the chief of staff of the armed forces, Valery Gerasimov.

    While the full extent of the mutiny remains unclear, unverified videos making the rounds online purported to show active clashes between Wagner and Russian regulars. A Reuters correspondent also said they witnessed a military helicopter firing on a mercenary column driving near the city of Voronezh – about halfway to Moscow from Rostov – but noted that the fighters faced little “substantial resistance” on the road.

    Earlier, the outlet also cited a Russian source who said Wagner troops had taken military installations in Voronezh, though it was unable to confirm the claim.

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    Voronezh Governor Alexander Gusev was among a long list of local and regional officials to announce stepped-up security precautions amid Wagner’s march, also stressing that Russians would support President Vladimir Putin. The governor of Rostov, Vasily Golubev, similarly declared his region’s loyalty to the leader.

    Prigozhin’s announcement came soon after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed to have successfully mediated talks with the paramilitary head and Putin, a close ally. Prigozhin did not mention the Belarusian leader in his own remarks, however.

    “Yevgeny Prigozhin accepted the proposal of President Alexander Lukashenko to stop the movement of the armed men of Wagner in Russia and to take further steps to de-escalate tension,” Lukashenko’s press service said, adding that they “came to agreements on the inadmissibility of unleashing a bloody massacre on the territory of Russia.”

    The statement said Prigozhin was offered “an advantageous and acceptable option for resolving the situation, with security guarantees for the Wagner PMC fighters,” but did not elaborate further.

    Putin delivered a national address on Saturday morning calling the apparent coup attempt a “betrayal.” While he did not cite Prigozhin by name, he said any “internal mutiny” posed a dire threat to national security and the Russian state itself. He added that an anti-terrorist security protocol had been imposed in Moscow, its surrounding region and several other locations.

    Will Porter is the assistant news editor of the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer at RT. He co-hosts Conflicts of Interest along with Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman.

    Source: Antiwar

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    Originally Posted at www.activistpost.com

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