Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has called on Wagner Group mercenaries to detain their boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to a report by RBC citing an official statement from the agency.
The FSB urged the mercenaries “not to make irreparable mistakes, to stop any forceful actions against the Russian people, not to carry out the criminal and traitorous orders of [Yevgeny] Prigozhin, and take measures to detain him.”
Prior to making the appeal, the FSB initiated a criminal case against Prigozhin for the “organization of an armed rebellion” (Article 279 of Russia’s Criminal Code).
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 Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu deliberately arrived in Rostov to execute an operation to destroy the Wagner PMC. According to Prigozhin, Shoigu “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.”