Russian tanks line Moscow streets - fears head of Wagner Group coup Yevgeny Prigozhin to topple Vladimir Putin
Russian tanks have lined the streets of Moscow amid fears the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is launching a coup against Vladimir Putin.
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Head of the mercenary company, the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has vowed revenge on the Kremlin after blaming Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for an alleged missile attack on its Bakhmut training camp in Ukraine, which killed more than 50 soldiers. On Friday (June 23) he called on his troops to have a “march of justice” on Moscow.
Russian security services reacted to the threat immediately by opening a criminal investigation into Prigozhin - calling for his arrest on charges of inciting an "armed rebellion" over threats to oust Shoigu. Footage from Moscow showed armoured vehicles occupying the streets with military officials and roadblocks guarding both the Kremlin and the country’s parliamentary State Duma building.
In a message posted on encrypted messaging service Telegram, Prigozgin said: “PMC Wagner Commanders’ Council made a decision, the evil brought by the military leadership of the country must be stopped. They neglect the lives of soldiers. They forgot the word "justice", and we will bring it back. Those, who destroyed today our guys, who destroyed tens, tens of thousands of lives of Russian soldiers will be punished.”
Following the message, a convoy of Wagner group soldiers made its way to the Russian town of Rostov, on route to Moscow, and met no resistance. The group has claimed all military sites in Rostov, a key crossing point for Russia’s military operation, are now under Wagner control.
In a statement, Prigozgin added: “We are moving forward and will go until the end. All of us are ready to die. All 25,000, and then another 25,000. We are dying for the Russian people.”