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Wagner Group Leader Yevgeny Prigozhin Vows to Take Over Moscow Until Military Leadership Surrenders

Wagner Group's March to Moscow

The Wagner Group, a private army led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has made its move towards Moscow. After taking control of military facilities in two Russian cities, Prigozhin is now ready to take on the Russian military leadership. This has led to an outcry from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has called the action treason. The security services have warned against following Prigozhin’s orders, and have urged the Wagner soldiers to take steps to arrest him for mutiny.

At lunchtime on Saturday, reports came in from the region’s governor that the Russian defense forces were carrying out “appropriate military measures” to keep out the private army in Voronezh. The M-4 road, which connects Moscow with several of Russia’s southern regions and passes, among other things, Rostov-on-Don, was closed and security was being tightened in the capital.

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Prigozhin has announced that Wagner soldiers had entered southern Russia and were ready to fight “anyone who stands in our way”. In an audio recording, he said that all 25,000 of his soldiers are ready to die for the Russian people if needs be. Pictures from Rostov show that the Wagner Group has taken over the headquarters of the Southern Military Command.

After accusing the country’s military leadership in several messages on Telegram on Friday of lying about the reasons for invading Ukraine and Russian military bombing of private army soldiers, Prigozhin is now claiming that it is not a military coup, but an attempt to punish Defense Minister Shoigu. He is likely ready to fight against the Russian defense and is targeting Rostov first. However, it is not excluded that he may also turn to Moscow.

The situation has become increasingly tense as Prigozhin has said his forces will continue the march on Moscow until military leadership is handed over. Despite warnings from security services and Putin’s condemnation of his actions, it seems that Prigozhin is unwilling to back down from his mission. What will happen next is anybody’s guess.

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