Wagner Group marches on Moscow, ultimately cancels the coup

 June 24, 2023

Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's name dominated the headlines to start the weekend, as he nearly led a massive, armed private military force into Russia, capturing a town along the way and with the intention to invade Moscow. 

According to Fox News, before he started his march toward the Russian capital, Prigozhin uploaded a series of videos in which he expressed anger at the Russian government and vowed to lead an armed rebellion in an attempt to remove Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu from power.

Prigozhin had accused Shoigu of ordering a missile strike on one of his private military camps. President Vladimir Putin employed Wagner Group to assist the country's war efforts against Ukraine.

From Friday afternoon into Saturday morning, Prigozhin's progress into Russia, which included thousands of troops along with heavy equipment, was tracked by citizen journalists and the mainstream media.

What happened?

For its part, Russia strongly denied that it ordered a rocket attack against Wagner Group positions. It vowed to prosecute the leader of the private military outfit.

"The allegations circulated on behalf of Yevgeny Prigozhin are groundless. In connection with these statements, the FSB of Russia has initiated a criminal case into the call for an armed rebellion. We demand an end to illegal actions," the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said in a statement, according to Russian state television Channel One.

Prigozhin didn't buy it, making that clear in one of his first video uploads. He uploaded additional videos with threats as he took control of a military headquarters in the town of Rostov.

"This is not a military coup, but a march of justice," Prigozhin declared on Friday.  "The evil embodied by the country’s military leadership must be stopped."

Referring to Shoigu, Prigozhin added, "This scum will be stopped."

In response to Prigozhin's threats and his ultimate march into Russia, Putin had ordered that the city of Moscow be locked down and heavily guarded with a large volume of its

Plot twist

Later Saturday morning, additional stunning news broke regarding the situation, with confirmed reports that Prigozhin announced that a deal had been reached and he was to turn his forces back immediately.

CBS News reports:

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Putin, held two meetings to negotiate a deal that includes "security guarantees for the Wagner PMC fighters," a news release published by Belarus' state-run news agency said. The Kremlin confirmed the discussions between Putin and Lukashenko had taken place.

Speculation continues to grow as to how Putin will treat Prigozhin as a result of what he previously called a "betrayal."

The world watches and waits.

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