Rostov on Don, 24 June 2023 (TDI): In a major development, Wagner forces have taken over the military headquarters in the Southern military district in Russia.
The Private military company has taken over the headquarter in response to the alleged attack by the Russian military on its contractors.
The company’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of ordering attacks that allegedly killed over 2000 Wagner contractors. The development has taken place at the moment when the Ukrainian Counteroffensive is underway.
Meanwhile, President Putin has made a speech condemning Wagner’s move calling it treason against Russia and has pledged to punish those involved in the act. He added that there would be no repeat of 1917, referring to the uprising by Russian soldiers against Tsar Nicholas II during World War One.
Russian Generals are appealing to the Wagner commander not to follow what they refer to as criminal orders from Prigozhin.
The disagreements between the Wagner and the Ministry of Defense were quite apparent before, especially during the Battle of Bakhmut. Prigozhin repeatedly posted video messages accusing the Ministry of Defense of inadequate support.
The Wagner Chief has demanded that the Defense Minister and Russia’s top General Valery Gerasimov meet him at Rostov-on-Don, or otherwise, he would instruct Wagner to advance to Moscow.
The city of Rostov-on-Don has immense significance as it hosts the headquarters of the Southern military district and is a logistic hub supporting Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine.
Moreover, according to Russia and Ukraine expert Alexander Vindman, the situation unfolding is dangerous as the Operational Command South also has strategic assets of the Russian arsenal.
President Biden was briefed on the situation around Wagner on Friday.