While the outcome of the confrontation still unclear, it appeared likely to further hinder Moscow’s war effort as Kyiv’s forces were probing Russian defenses in the initial stages of a counteroffensive.To see important ads, turn off your ad blocker! Article continued below:
The dispute, especially if Prigozhin were to succeed, also could have repercussions for President Vladimir Putin and his ability to maintain a united front.
Armed rebellion, what does Prigozhin want?
The owner of the Wagner private military contractor made his most direct challenge to the Kremlin yet, calling for an armed rebellion aimed at ousting Russia’s defense minister.
The security services reacted immediately by calling for the arrest of Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation Saturday and vowed to defend the country and its people from an armed rebellion declared by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
In an audio message on his Telegram channel, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said: “Regarding the betrayal of the motherland, the president was deeply mistaken. We are patriots of our homeland.
He said his fighters would not turn themselves in at the request of Putin, as “we do not want the country to live on in corruption, deceit and bureaucracy.”
Prigozhin posted a video of himself in Rostov-on-Don at the Russian military headquarters that oversees the fighting in Ukraine.
He claimed that his forces had military facilities in the city under their control, including the air field. Other videos posted on social media showed military vehicles, including tanks, on the streets outside.
“But we will destroy anyone who stands in our way,” he said in one of a series of angry video and audio recordings posted on social media beginning late Friday. “We are moving forward and will go until the end.”
Russia’s security services had responded to Prigozhin’s declaration of an armed rebellion by calling for his arrest.
In a sign of how seriously the Kremlin took the threat, authorities declared a “counterterrorist regime” in Moscow and its surroundings, allowing restricted freedoms and enhancing security in the capital.
It was not immediately clear how Prigozhin was able to enter the southern Russian city or how many troops he had with him.
Armed rebellion, who is Yevgeny Prigozhin?
He gained international attention primarily due to his association with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian troll farm implicated in spreading disinformation and interfering in the 2016 United States presidential election.
Prigozhin was born on June 1, 1961, in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia). He started his career as a hot dog vendor and eventually ventured into the restaurant and catering business. He founded the Concord Catering company, which became successful and expanded its operations.
Prigozhin’s involvement with the IRA became widely known when the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller in the United States indicted him, along with several other individuals and entities, in February 2018.
The indictment alleged that Prigozhin and his companies were involved in a wide-scale campaign to influence American public opinion through social media platforms.
The IRA was accused of creating and spreading divisive content, targeting specific political groups, and organizing rallies and events to further their agenda.
Apart from his association with the IRA, Prigozhin has been linked to various business ventures, including private military companies and mining operations in Africa.
He has close ties to the Russian government and is often referred to as a “Kremlin insider.” Due to his alleged involvement in illicit activities, including the election interference, he has been subject to sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, for what and how long he was in prison?
In November 1979, 18-year-old Prigozhin was caught stealing and given a suspended sentence.
Two years later, in 1981, he was again caught stealing, and sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for robbery, fraud, and involving teenagers in crime.
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