Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, has issued a bold challenge to the Russian military leadership, accusing them of launching strikes against his forces. In an audio message, Prigozhin vowed to topple the military leadership and claimed his forces had shot down a Russian military helicopter. These developments mark a significant escalation and pose a direct challenge to President Vladimir Putin since the start of the offensive in Ukraine last year. Russian authorities have tightened security measures in response to the warning from the head of the Wagner group.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, aged 62, issued an audio message in which he stated, "We are going onwards and we will go to the end. We will destroy everything that stands in our way." This audacious challenge to the Russian military leadership highlights growing tensions within the country. Prigozhin accused Chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, of ordering strikes against his units, despite their presence among civilian vehicles.
Prigozhin made a startling claim that his forces had shot down a Russian military helicopter. In a new audio message, he stated, "A helicopter has just now opened fire at a civilian column. It has been shot down by units of PMC Wagner." However, no details were provided to independently verify this claim, leaving its authenticity uncertain.
In response to the statements made by the head of the Wagner group, Russian authorities have implemented heightened security measures in several regions. Rostov governor Vasily Golubev urged residents to remain calm, stating that law enforcement agencies were taking all necessary steps to ensure their safety. The situation remains tense as authorities monitor the developments closely.
Prigozhin earlier asserted that his forces, which have been actively involved in the offensive in eastern Ukraine, had entered the southern Russian region of Rostov. However, no evidence or verification of this claim has been provided, making it difficult to ascertain the actual presence of his units in the region.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, speaking on behalf of the Wagner mercenary group, conveyed their unwavering determination to confront the Russian military leadership. In a renewed audio message, he declared, "All of us are ready to die. All 25,000, and then another 25,000. We are dying for the Russian people." This resolute stance indicates a high level of commitment among the group's members and raises concerns about potential further escalation.
The head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has issued a direct challenge to the Russian military leadership, accusing them of launching strikes against his forces. These bold statements and claims of shooting down a Russian military helicopter mark a significant escalation and pose a major challenge to President Vladimir Putin. As tensions rise, Russian authorities have increased security measures in various regions. The situation remains fluid, and it is crucial to closely monitor further developments and their potential implications.