KIEV, June 24 (AP) — Russian authorities on Friday launched a criminal investigation into the owner of the Wagner Group military contractor for his alleged threat to oust Russia’s defense minister.
It followed a statement from owner Yevgeny Prigozhin accusing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of ordering a rocket attack on Wagner’s field camp in Ukraine, where soldiers are fighting Ukrainian forces on Russia’s behalf.
Prigozhin said his troops would now act to punish Shoigu and urged the army not to resist. Prigozhin declared that “this is not an armed rebellion, but a march of justice.”
Russia’s defense ministry rejected Prigozhin’s claims, and Russia’s top counterterrorism body, the State Counterterrorism Committee, said it had opened a criminal investigation into allegations of inciting a military coup.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had been informed of the situation, adding that “all necessary measures are being taken”. (Associated Press)
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