Wagner Forces Surround Russia’s Southern Military District Headquarters In Rostov: Russian Media
Screenshot: Twitter Video

Russian state-controlled media confirmed Saturday morning local time that Wagner paramilitary forces have surrounded the Russian military’s Southern Military District headquarters.

Photographs from TASS said that PMC Wagner fighters and tanks were standing “outside the Southern Military District headquarters” in Rostov-on-Don.

The New York Times later reported that the governor in the region asked residents not to leave their homes and to stay away from the area. He confirmed that the military forces belonged to Wagner.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of Russia’s feared Wagner paramilitary group, announced in a statement Saturday morning that his forces were moving into the Russian city.

“As of now, we’ve crossed the state borders in all areas,” Prigozhin said, according to Newsweek. “Border guards came towards us and hugged our fighters. Now, we’re entering Rostov. Units of the Ministry of Defense, in fact, the conscripts who were thrown to block our path, moved away.”

The rapidly changing situation in the region comes after Prigozhin accused Russia’s Ministry of Defense of attacking and killing his troops that were in Ukraine fighting against Ukrainian forces.

Prigozhin said in a video statement on Friday that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had lied to Russian President Vladimir Putin about what was going on with Ukraine back in February of 2022 in order to stoke Putin into invading the country.

“The war was needed so that a handful of scumbags could have a blast and get PR attention showing how strong the army is,” he said. “The war was needed not in order to return the Russian citizens to our bosom and not in order to ‘demilitarize and denazify Ukraine’.”

Prigozhin shared a message on his personal Telegram channel that accused Russia of launching an attack on his soldiers.

“A missile attack was carried out on a PMC Wagner base,” the message said. “There are many casualties. According to the information of the fighters who are witnesses, the attack was carried out from a rear direction – that is, it was carried out by soldiers of the Russian Ministry of Defense.”

Prigozhin said that he had 25,000 men and they were going to “figure out why chaos is happening in the country.”

“The evil that the military leadership of the country brings forward must be stopped. They have forgotten the word justice, and we will return it,” he said in an audio recording. “Anyone attempting resistance will be considered a threat and immediately destroyed. This includes all the checkpoints on our path and any aircraft above our heads.”

Russia’s notorious Federal Security Service (FSB), which was previously the KGB, responded by issuing an arrest warrant for Prigozhin.

“Prigozhin’s statements and actions are in fact calls for the start of an armed civil conflict on the territory of the Russian Federation and are a stab in the back of Russian servicemen fighting pro-fascist Ukrainian forces,” the FSB said in a statement. “We call on PMC fighters not to make irreparable mistakes, to stop any forceful actions against the Russian people, not to carry out Prigozhin’s criminal and treacherous orders, and to take measures to detain him.”

Lt. Gen. Vladimir Alekseyev urged Wagner forces to prevent an all out “real civil war” from erupting in the country and to “come back to your senses.”

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