Wagner Head Prigozhin Releases First Statement Since Mutiny

Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin has released his first statement since calling off his armed mutiny in Russia over the weekend.

An 11-minute audio message was published to his personal Telegram account. Below are some main points that have been translated by War Translated:

What were the prerequisites for the March for Justice?
– PMC Wagner carries out tasks around the world. It was meant to stop existing on 1 July 2023. “Employees” all refused to sign the contract with MoD, only 1-2% decided to join the Russian army.

– The original plan was to go to Rostov on 30 July and transfer all vehicles to MoD, which were ready for transport.

– Despite any aggression, Wagner suffered a missile attack, followed by a helicopter attack. Around 30 PMC Wagner fighters died. This triggered an immediate decision to move out early and respond militarily.

Note: On Friday, June 23, Prigozhin accused Russian military forces of striking a Wagner camp near Bakhmut using missiles and helicopters. He had also accused Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu of orchestrating the attack, further stating that the attack would not go without a response and that “the evil brought by the military leadership of [Russia] must be stopped.

– Throughout the 24-hour march, one column went to Moscow, another to Rostov. They made 780 km of progress in one day. They regret being forced to attack the army aircraft but the bombs were dropped which caused the response. During the march, all military objects on the way were blocked and disarmed. None of the military have died on the ground.

Note: Wagner forces downed several Russian military aircraft over the weekend, including an Il-22M airborne command post, in which all crew members perished.

– The objective was to not allow the destruction of Wagner and take to responsibility for those who with their unprofessional actions made a huge number of mistakes during the SMO. All the military met along the way supported this.

– Wagner stopped when the advanced storm unit deployed artillery, conducted reconnaissance and realized a lot of blood will be shed in an upcoming battle. They decided that the demonstration of the protest was enough, and turned around.

– Factors that made Wagner turn around: first, they didn’t want to shed Russian blood. Secondly, they wanted to demonstrate their protest, not overtake the authority in Russia.

Note: Prigozhin had previously claimed that this was not a coup attempt, but rather a “march for Justice: aimed at Russian leadership.

– Lukashenko offered to find solutions for further legal operation of Wagner legally. Columns turned around and went back to field camps.

– The march showed many things demonstrated before. Serious security concerns around the country. All military bases and airfields were blocked.

– If actions on 24 Feb 2022 were done by forces as trained as Wagner, the special operation could have ended in 1 day. This shows the level of organization that the Russian army should be following.