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Russia accuses Wagner chief of urging “armed rebellion”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has issued a warning that anyone who engages in treason or armed rebellion will face “punishment” as the Wagner rebellion puts the country at risk.

Russia accuses Wagner chief of urging "armed rebellion"

Putin says situation in Rostov remains difficult because of “armed uprising”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address Saturday, “the situation in Rostov-on-Don remains difficult during the armed uprising.”

“In Rostov, the work of civil and military administration is basically blocked,” Putin said.

Putin says Wagner’s “betrayal” is “stabbing our country and our people in the back”

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wagner’s “betrayal” and “any action that breaks our unity” is “stabbing our country and our people in the back.”

“What we are facing is precisely betrayal. Excessive ambition and vested interests have led to treason. Betrayal of one’s country, one’s people, and the cause for which the soldiers and commanders of the Wagner group had fought and died, side by side with our other units,” Putin said.

Putin called Wagner actions “internal treachery,” saying that “all kinds of political adventurers and foreign forces, who divided the country and tore it apart, profited from their own interests. We will not let this happen again. We will protect both our people and our statehood from any threats, including internal treachery.”

Key lines from Putin’s address

The leader of the Wagner paramilitary organization claimed his forces had taken control of military sites in two Russian cities, sparking an uproar in the country, with Russian President Vladimir Putin issuing a warning that those who “follow the path of treason”. Wanting to walk over or join in the violent rebellion would face “punishment”.

Here are some of the key lines from Putin’s address:

  • Putin vowed a harsh response and punishment of those involved in armed rebellion. “Any actions that fracture our unity” are “a stab in the back of our country and our people,” he said.
  • Putin said the armed forces “have been given the necessary orders” and “decisive action will also be taken to stabilize the situation in Rostov.”
  • He said, “additional anti terrorism, security measures have been imposed in Moscow, Moscow region and a number of other regions.”
    Putin appealed to Wagner forces “pushed into the provocation of a military rebellion,” saying at this time, “we require unity, consolidation, and responsibility.”
  • Putin described events in Rostov as an insurrection. He said the situation in Rostov “remains difficult during the armed uprising” and “the work of civil and military administration is basically blocked.”
  • Putin said the country had been “betrayed by those who are trying to organize a mutiny, pushing the country toward anarchy and fratricide.” He said “excessive ambition and vested interests have led to treason.”
  • Putin said it was a “blow to Russia,” adding, “Internal turmoil is a mortal threat to our statehood, to us as a nation.”

Anti-terrorist regime introduced in Moscow and Voronezh regions

The implementation of the anti-terrorist operation regime in Moscow, the Moscow region and the Voronezh region was announced by the Russian National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

“An anti-terrorist operation regime has been introduced to prevent possible terrorist attacks on the territory of the city of Moscow, Moscow and Voronezh regions,” the announcement said.

According to Russian official media, this is the first time an anti-terrorist regime has been announced in these areas.

An armed rebellion against the Russian government was allegedly being planned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Wagner’s private military force.

The counter-terrorist regime includes, but is not limited to:

  • document checks
  • strengthened protection of public order
  • monitoring telephone conversations
  • restricting communications
  • restricting the movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the streets.

Emmanuel Macron of France is keeping a close watch on this issue

Russia accuses Wagner chief of urging "armed rebellion"
French President Emmanuel Macron is seen at the Presidential Elysee Palace on June 23, in Paris, France. Christian Liewig/Corbis/Getty Images

The Elysee Palace announced on Saturday that French President Emmanuel Macron is monitoring the situation in Russia “closely”.

elysee said, “The president is keeping a close eye on this issue. We remain committed to helping Ukraine.”

Similarly, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said they were monitoring the situation on an “ongoing basis.”

“Due to the situation in Russia, we held consultations this morning with the Prime Minister and the Ministry of National Defense, as well as with the Allies. The course of events beyond our eastern border is monitored on an ongoing basis,” Duda tweeted Saturday.

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