The press office of the head of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, published an audio message this Monday (26) in which he explains the motivations of the military rebellion last Saturday (24) and the reason for the so-called “march to Moscow”. ” has been interrupted.
According to Prigozhin, the objective of the campaign was to prevent the destruction of his battalion and bring those responsible for this situation to justice.
“We felt that a demonstration of what we were going to do was enough,” said Prigozhin.
According to him, the reason for the decision to stop the announced march towards Moscow was justified by “two big factors”: the unwillingness of “Russian bloodshed” and the fact that the members of the Wagner group were motivated to perform a protest, not topple the country’s government”.
The plot that resulted in the Russian mercenary rebellion began on Friday (23) with Prigozhin’s accusation against the Russian Defense Ministry. According to the head of the Wagner group, Russian military forces would have bombed the bases of the paramilitary group that fights alongside it against Ukraine.
The businessman and founder of the battalion then stated “a large number of combatants died” and in the near future Wagner would decide “how to respond to this atrocity”.
“We didn’t show any aggression, but a missile attack was carried out against us, around 30 fighters were killed. This served as a trigger – we decided to move forward immediately. I said that we will not attack, but if they hit us, we will respond”, he explained in the message released on Monday.
Prigozhin announced that his mercenary group was starting a “march for justice” and on Saturday morning he said his supporters had seized military installations in the city of Rostov and shot down Russian Defense Ministry helicopters. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has filed a lawsuit against Prigozhin accusing him of armed rebellion.
Then, during the afternoon of the same day, Prigozhin announced that he accepted the proposal of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to stop the movement of the paramilitary battalion and return to the bases.
In his statement this Monday (26), the head of Wagner said that at the height of the crisis the Belarusian president “extended his hand and offered to find solutions for Wagner’s future work in the legal jurisdiction”, without specifying what kind of decision that was it.
“During the entire march, we covered 780 kilometers. We are sorry that we hit the air force, but it was because they were dropping bombs. We blocked and neutralized all the military installations that were on the road. Not a single soldier died on the ground. We have several wounded soldiers and two dead from the Ministry of Defense who joined us. The objective of the campaign is to prevent the destruction of the Wagner group and bring to justice those who committed so many mistakes during the special military operation [contra a Ucrânia]”.
He was also quick to reiterate criticisms of Russia’s security amid the mutiny he provoked, highlighting the efficiency of training and readiness of its mercenary troops.
“If the actions of the 24th of February [data da invasão da Ucrânia pela Rússia]during the start of a special military operation, were carried out by units according to the level of training, according to the level of moral readiness such as the PMC [Wagner]then [a guerra] maybe it would last a day”, he concluded.
Editing: Thales Schmidt