The Investigation Department of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has opened a criminal case against E. V. Prigozhin (Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, head of the Wagner PMC) for the “organization of an armed rebellion.” The announcement was published in the official Telegram channel of the General Prosecutor's Office.
The penalty for the offense ranges from 12 to 20 years of imprisonment.
On the evening of June 23, Prigozhin claimed that the Russian Defense Ministry launched missile strikes on the Wagner PMC’s rear camps. Prigozhin claimed that Sergei Shoigu deliberately arrived in Rostov to execute an operation to destroy the Wagner PMC. According to Prigozhin, the Russian Minister of Defense “covertly deployed artillery personnel and helicopter pilots to exterminate us.”
Prigozhin promised to respond to the strike and “to deal with those who destroy Russian soldiers.” Russia's Defense Ministry has denied carrying out strikes on Wagner positions, claiming that messages disseminated by Prigozhin do not correspond to reality.
The FSB and other security forces have been put on high alert in Moscow, according to a report by the BBC Russian Service citing a source close to the special services. According to the source, the FSB and Russia’s National Guard Special Rapid Response Unit (SOBR) have set up roadblocks on the Don highway (a highway connecting Moscow, Voronezh, and Rostov-on-Don). Officers on duty have been ordered to open fire “in case of a threat.”
Earlier on June 23, a “Fortress” plan was declared in a number of police departments in the Rostov region, and officers were put on alert, according to Telegram channel Baza and a law enforcement source from Rostov-based publication 161.RU.
A “Fortress” (“Krepost”) plan involves an emergency assembly of personnel and taking control of highly important facilities of law enforcement agencies. The plan also calls for preparedness to repel an external attack.