In a shocking twist, the Wagner Group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, claimed on Friday that the Russian military had attacked their troops in Ukraine. He made a striking declaration against the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“Let’s dive into the heart of the problem,” Prigozhin said to his followers, all 25,000 of them, via a message on Telegram. He opened an invitation to anyone ready to join their cause.
‼️ 🇷🇺 ARMY ATTACKS WAGNER!!
‼️ A COUP MAY BE UNDERWAY!!
⚡️⚡️⚡️ Prigozhin, announced that a Wagner military base has been ATTACKED by the 🇷🇺 ARMY!
Saying, the 🇷🇺 Army “launched rocket attacks on our rear camps. A huge number of soldiers died. We will decide how we will respond… pic.twitter.com/JA2e7hyp3O
— Jason Jay Smart (@officejjsmart) June 23, 2023
Prigozhin is no stranger to his disappointment with Russia’s top military officials. He often shares his gripes on Telegram. He holds a particular distaste for Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, accusing him just a day before of sugar-coating Russia’s setbacks on the battlefield to President Vladimir Putin.
Tensions reportedly reached boiling point, leading to an alleged attack on Wagner’s forces by Russia’s military on Friday.
Following the supposed attack, Prigozhin pulled no punches: We’re at odds with the Russian Ministry of Defense now.
“Enough is enough,” he declared, echoing the sentiments of the Wagner Commanders’ Council. “Those responsible for the loss of countless Russian soldiers’ lives will pay.”
Prigozhin’s message was clear and assertive. He urged everyone not to stand in their way, and those who dared to do so would face immediate repercussions, whether roadblocks or overhead aviation.
Once this internal clash is settled, Prigozhin promises a return to the Ukrainian frontlines. “We will ensure justice for our soldiers. And then for all of Russia.”
In response to Prigozhin’s claims, Russia’s Defense Ministry hit back, labeling his allegations of an attack on the Wagner Group as ‘pure fiction.’ Kremlin-associated news outlet, RIA Novosti, shared the ministry’s statement. They dismissed Prigozhin’s ‘alleged Defense Ministry strike on Wagner Group’s videos and posts as misleading.
According to RIA Novosti, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman confirmed that President Putin is in the loop regarding Prigozhin’s bold declaration, and necessary actions are underway.
Meanwhile, Igor Girkin, a former commander in Russia’s military known for criticizing Putin’s handling of the Ukraine war, spoke of a possible coup attempt.
A military coup might be in progress, Girkin speculated on Telegram. “If it’s not a ruse, then the friction between the Ministry of Defense and Wagner has spiraled out of control. It’s high time the President stepped in – if he’s still in charge.”