mutiny Russian mercenary warrior After capturing a southern city overnight, they stormed toward Moscow on Saturday, with the Russian military firing on them from the air but seemingly unable to slow their lightning-fast advance.
Below is a timeline of events that have occurred over the past 24 hours.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of Wagner’s private army, released a video that escalated his feud with Russia’s military top brass and denied for the first time President Vladimir Putin’s core rationale for invading Ukraine.
– In a series of subsequent recordings posted on Telegram, Prigozhin said the “evil” actions of the Russian military leadership “must stop” and that his Wagnerian mercenaries would lead a “just march” against the Russian military .
– The security service of the Russian Federal Security Service responded by launching criminal proceedings against Prigozhin, saying he called for an armed mutiny.
– General Sergei Surovkin, deputy commander of Russia’s Ukraine campaign, urged the Wagnerian militia to drop its opposition to the military leadership and return to base.
– Prigozhin said his men had crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia and were ready to confront Russian forces “all the way”.
– Prigozhin said in a recording posted on Telegram that Wagner fighter jets had entered the southern Russian city of Rostov.
– The White House said it was monitoring the situation involving Russia and Wagner’s forces and would consult with allies and partners on developments.
– The governor of the Rostov region in southern Russia bordering Ukraine told residents to remain calm and stay indoors as Wagner’s troops apparently took control of the city of Rostov.
– The Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement calling on the Wagner fighters to abandon Prigozhin, saying they were “deceived and dragged into criminal adventures”.
– Russian security sources told Reuters that Wagner militants had taken control of all military installations in the city of Voronezh, about 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Moscow.
– Putin made a televised speech vowing to crush what he called an armed insurgency. He accused Prigozhin of “treason” and “backstabbing”.
– Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin ally, said his troops were ready to help put down Prigozhin’s insurgency, using harsh measures if necessary.
– European governments including Britain, France, Germany and Italy issued statements saying they were closely monitoring developments in Russia. Many other governments around the world made similar announcements that day.
– Russian military helicopters opened fire on a lightning-fast advancing convoy of rebel mercenaries in Moscow after capturing Rostov overnight.
– Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that “Russia’s weakness is obvious” and that the longer Moscow keeps troops and mercenaries in Ukraine, the more chaos it will bring domestically.
– Sergey Naryshkin, head of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, said it was clear that Prigorzhin’s attempts to destabilize society and spark a fratricidal civil war had failed, according to TASS news agency.
– Russian soldiers set up machine gun positions on the southwestern edge of Moscow, according to photos published by the Vedomosti newspaper.
Photos also showed armed police massed on the M4 motorway to the Russian capital – along which renegade Wagnerian mercenaries were driving.
– The Kremlin said in a statement that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Putin by phone that he supported the Russian government’s handling of Wagner’s rebellion.
A Turkish statement said Erdogan urged Putin to act “in accordance with common sense”.
Belarus issued a statement reiterating its alliance with Russia.
– U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said he had spoken to the G7 foreign ministers and the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs. He added that the U.S. will remain in touch with allies and partners “as the situation continues to evolve.”
– Putin signed a law allowing for 30 days of detention for violators of martial law in places where martial law is imposed, Ria Novosti reported.
– Wagnerian mercenaries will receive amnesty if they lay down their arms, “but they should act as soon as possible,” lawmaker Pavel Krashennikov was quoted by TASS news agency.
– The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement warning Western countries not to use the Wagner Group defection “to achieve their anti-Russian goals”.