Russia’s FSB security service opened a criminal case against Wagner chief and called on the private military company forces to ignore his orders and arrest him.
Russia has ordered the arrest of the chief of the powerful mercenary group Wagner after he called for an armed uprising against the country’s military. The move comes amid growing animosity between rival Kremlin camps over the war in Ukraine.
Here are 10 facts about this big story:
- Security in several major Russian cities, including capital Moscow, has been tightened after Wagner group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin vowed to topple the Moscow leadership.
- Moscow Mayor announced that they are launching anti-terror measures based on the information they have received.
- “In connection with the incoming information in Moscow, anti-terrorist measures aimed at strengthening security are being taken,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on social media.
- Rostov and Lipetsk, both in Southern Russia, have also reinforced security. In Rostov, authorities have asked all residents to not leave their homes.
- Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has for months been mired in a feud with the defence ministry, today accused Moscow of targeting his forces with deadly missile strikes and vowed to retaliate.
- He vowed to take all necessary steps to topple the country’s military leadership and said that his forces would “destroy everything” in their way. “We are going onwards and we will go to the end,” Prigozhin said.
- He urged Russians to join his forces and punish Moscow’s military leadership in the most audacious challenge to President Vladimir Putin since the start of the offensive in Ukraine last year.
- Russia’s FSB security service opened a criminal case against the Wagner chief and called on the Wagner private military company forces to ignore his orders and arrest him.
- The showdown marked the most dramatic escalation in a long-running feud between the mercenary leader and Russia’s defense establishment that’s spiraled into what is the biggest challenge to Putin’s authority since he sent troops into Ukraine 16 months ago.
- President Vladimir Putin was getting round-the-clock updates from security officials on their efforts to counter “the attempt at an armed mutiny”.