The UK Ministry of Protection describes the disaster because the “largest problem dealing with the Russian state in current reminiscence”
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Russian oligarch and mercenary Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner group claims to have seized territory and military facilities in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. The British Ministry of Defense responded, describing the events as “the greatest challenge to the Russian state in recent memory”.
War correspondent Tim Mak wrote The counteroffensive On Saturday morning, “He (Putin) also promised ‘decisive action’ to stabilize what he called the ‘difficult’ situation in Rostov-on-Don.” But just hours after his speech, the mercenaries left the strategically important city already advanced hundreds of kilometers north towards Moscow.”
On Twitter, Mak wrote, “The Wagner Group has seized territory in Russia and is trying to remove the country’s military leadership from power. The UK understands the mercenaries are trying to get to Moscow.”
He added: “The war in Ukraine has unleashed a deadly challenge to Putin’s regime: the Wagner Group’s armed mercenaries led by Yevgeny Prigozhin are now in open rebellion.”
Here’s a subtitled version of Prigozhin’s first public address from the Rostov-on-Don Southern Military District headquarters (remember that Prigozhin is a brutal mercenary and not what we would necessarily call a reliable narrator). Courtesy of Igor Sushko, who is part of the Winds of Change Research Group, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC that focuses on “democratic values, anti-corruption regimes, human rights, and the importance of strong national defenses as an integral part of the United States.” -Relations with Ukraine”:
🚨 Prigozhin made his first public address from the Southern Military District Headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, a city of 1.1 million that Wagner PMC now fully controls.
English subtitles. pic.twitter.com/SDg4astcaY
— Igor Sushko (@igorushko) June 24, 2023
It is still unclear what Prigozhin’s motive is and whether or not it was a coup. He has repeatedly criticized top Russian military leaders for their work in illegally invading Ukraine. The BBC points out that while this is not a coup, “but an attempt to overthrow Russia’s top politicians, and thus a challenge to the president’s authority.” And although it was Russia’s leader who allowed Prigozhin to overthrow his rival building up an army, he obviously no longer has any control over him.”
The UK has been a key ally for the US as it worked alongside other allies to repel the growing threat of global authoritarianism and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
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