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Prigozhin on Putin: “The President is mistaken. No one is going to turn themselves in at his command”

Evgeny Prigozhin recorded another audio address in which he criticized Vladimir Putin, stating that Putin is mistaken and that the Wagner PMC will not yield to his demands.

“Regarding betrayal of the motherland, the President is deeply mistaken. We are patriots of our homeland, we, all the Wagner PMC fighters, have fought and continue to fight. And no one is going to turn themselves in at the command of the President, FSB, or anyone else because we do not want the country to continue living in corruption, lies, and bureaucracy. When we fought in Africa, they told us that we needed Africa, and then they abandoned it because they embezzled all the money that was supposed to go towards assistance. When they told us that we were fighting in Ukraine, we went there and fought. But it turned out that the ammunition, weapons, and the money allocated for them, were also being embezzled, while the officials sat back, saving them for themselves, exactly for the situation that has arisen today—when troops are marching on Moscow. Now they are no longer saving money; they are using planes and helicopters to bomb columns mixed with civilians. They hit civilians because they can't aim properly, and they hit whatever they can. That's why we are patriots, and everyone who opposes us today are those who have rallied around the scoundrels.”

In an urgent statement, Vladimir Putin condemned the actions of Prigozhin as an act of betrayal, emphasizing that he betrayed not only Russia but also its people and the fighters the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC). He assured that those who have taken the path of rebellion will face “inevitable punishment.”

“The internal turmoil poses a grave threat to our nation's sovereignty, and we will respond resolutely. Those who have consciously chosen the path of treachery will face inevitable punishment. They will be held accountable by the law and answer to our citizens. The armed forces have been given clear instructions,” stated Putin.

He also added that “decisive actions will be taken to stabilize the situation in Rostov-on-Don.” According to him, the situation there “remains difficult, with the functioning of civilian and military authorities practically paralyzed.”

While Putin did not mention the name of Prigozhin in his address, he did recall the “heroes of Wagner.” He urged Wagner personnel to “cease involvement in criminal activities.”

Putin also drew parallels with the year 1917 when Russia saw a revolution during the height of World War I, leading to the collapse of the army, the state, and eventually, a civil war. “Back then, victory in the war was stolen from us, plunging us into chaos and anarchy. We will not allow history to repeat itself,” he declared.

According to a source in Russian intelligence agencies cited by Reuters, it has been reported that the Wagner Private Military Company has taken control of military installations in Voronezh. However, Reuters highlights its inability to independently verify this information. Prior reports mentioned the movement of a military convoy towards Voronezh.

In response to the situation, the regime of counter-terrorism operation has been implemented in Voronezh, as well as in Moscow and the Moscow region. The authorities in the Tula region have announced temporary restrictions on transit from the Moscow and Lipetsk regions.

Earlier, a video was released showing mercenaries from the Wagner PMC entering the headquarters of the Southern Military District of the Russian Armed Forces in Rostov-on-Don. The footage also includes a conversation between the leader of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

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