It has been an extremely busy 24 hours as PMC Wagner has claimed to seize more and more cities, very notably taking Voronezh. Both Voronezh and Rostov are cities of over 1 million people. Notably, both cities were seized without very much resistance. Below is a map of Wagner’s claimed taken territory. While this does come from a pro Wagner source, the Lipetsk Governor has confirmed that Wagner forces are moving equipment through the Oblast. This puts Wagner at around 400-500km away from Moscow, their acclaimed goal.
Putin released a long video giving a statement on the rebellion. Within the statement he likened the present rebellion to the 1917 Revolution.
“This is a stab in the back of our country and our people. Such a blow was dealt to Russia in 1917 when the country was fighting in the first world war. But victory was stolen from us. Scheming, quarreling, political maneuvering behind the back of the army and the people resulted in the greatest upheaval, the destruction of the army and the collapse of the state, the loss of vast territories”.
In the statement he vows to crush Prigozhin’s rebellion. While very little combat has been reported between Russian and Wagner forces, numerous videos have surfaced claiming to show forces loyal to Chechen leader Kadyrov presently inbound to Rostov, tasked with combatting the rebellion, though they have yet to make contact.
Video showing some of Kadyrov’s “Akhmat” forces on their way to Rostov. pic.twitter.com/VrslVlcEQU
— GHMV2 (@GHMV2Research) June 24, 2023
In Putin’s statement he calls Wagner traitors, and warns those considering joining them not to make a “fatal and irrevocable mistake”.
Vokante, the Russian clone of Facebook, has blocked Wagner’s account. Moscow has gone into a lockdown with various areas cordoned off.
Video surfaced yesterday of Prigozhin in Rostov speaking with Deputy Defence Minister Yunus-bek Yevkurov, where he vowed to pursue Moscow and blockade/hold Rostov if Wagner is not handed Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defence. In the conversation he also claims to have shot down several helicopters, which he claims were attacking civilians.
The situation is incredibly chaotic, and disinformation is rampant. Information published has been confirmed.