What did Vladimir Putin say? Russian leader calls Wagner Group move a ‘betrayal’ in new speech
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reacted to an armed rebellion by the Wagner Group militia in a televised address, calling it a “betrayal”.
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Head of the mercenary company, the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, called on his troops to take part in a “march of justice” on Moscow after blaming Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for an alleged missile attack on its Bakhmut training camp in Ukraine, which killed more than 50 soldiers. 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".
As the Wagner Group claimed to take control of key military sites in Russia, PresidentVladimir Putin addressed the nation, describing the rebellion as a “betrayal” and promising to “defend Russia at all costs.” In the pre-recorded address, he said: “It’s the equivalent to armed mutiny. Russia will defend itself and repel this move.
"We are fighting the life and security of our citizens. It’s an attempt to subvert us from inside. This is a stab in the back to our troops and the people of Russia."
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 statement, head of Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozgin said: “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.”