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BREAKING: Wagner Fighters Seize Control Of Russian Military Headquarters

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BREAKING: Wagner Fighters Seize Control Of Russian Military Headquarters

Fears of an attempted coup in Russia were growing on Saturday as troops from the Wagner militia stormed military and ministerial headquarters in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, led by the furious mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin set on revenge for Moscow killing some of his men.

Prigozhin issued a new message at about 7:30am Saturday Moscow time saying his men have infiltrated the Southern Defense Command in Rostov-on-Don and that the city’s airfield was under his control.

Residents have been told to stay in their homes by government officials, but some were seen out observing what was happening, even live-streaming the action on their cell phones.

Russian Military

Prigozhin, who was once a confidant of Vladimir Putin before declaring war on Moscow’s military leadership, said in a video that the highest ranking officer at the command post had fled as soon as he learned that Wagner forces were approaching.

‘We took it under control so that attack aircraft would not strike at us, but the Ukrainians. The main headquarters of the main control center is operating normally. There are no problems, not a single officer took away. So when they tell you that the Wagner PMC interfered, and something went wrong at the front [that’s wrong],’ Prigozhin said.

‘When we came here, we once again confirmed: a lot, a huge amount of territory was lost. Soldiers were killed three, four times more than reported to commanders. And what is reported is 10 times less than they say on TV. Losses per day amount to some days up to 1,000 people.’

‘These are the dead missing, the wounded and the so-called refuseniks, who refuse not because they are afraid, but because they have no way out, no ammunition, no control. The Chief of the General Staff fled from here as soon as he learned that we were approaching the building,’ he concluded.

New photos showed Wagner fighters walking through the streets of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday morning, one picture featured a member flashing the v for victory sign.

Also, footage shared on social media showed troops outside the Southern Military Headquarters – which plays a crucial role in managing the Ukraine war – while more were seen less than half a mile encircling the Rostov office of the Interior Ministry.

Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute who specializes in Russian defense, said: ‘The Telegram channel says there are soldiers in the building and there are up to 300 Wagner fighters in Rostov.’

Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine expert and former member of the National Security Council, tweeted: ‘Those are not Russian National Guard troops. That looks like Wagner troops entering the SMD HQ.’

But some said it was not clear that the forces on the streets were Wagner, and they may have been forces loyal to the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said the Russian president had been informed of Prigozhin’s claims of a march on Moscow, and that ‘necessary measures are being taken.’

Putin has yet to be seen, or publicly comment on the uprising.

Prigozhin claimed to have also shot down a Russian military helicopter in the city – home to the Kremlin’s headquarters for the war in Ukraine – which ‘opened fire on a civilian column’.

But there was no proof of his claim.

Prigozhin launched his extraordinary action after calling for the ousting of the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and vowing to punish Russian military leaders – whom he accused of killing ‘hundreds’ of his mercenaries in an air strike.

The private army boss also claimed the Russian military leaders are lying to Putin and hiding the bodies of a further 2,000 soldiers to conceal losses in Ukraine.

As his Wagner forces closed in on Rostov on Friday night, 1,000 miles from Moscow, Prigozhin said they would take ‘all necessary steps’ to topple the country’s military leadership.

He declared: ‘We will destroy anyone who stands in our way… we are moving forward and will go until the end’.

Armored cars blockade a street in the city of Rostov as the sun began to rise on Saturday
Armored cars blockade a street in the city of Rostov as the sun began to rise on Saturday

Russia’s defense military in Moscow is pictured as dawn breaks on Saturday. Anti-aircraft artillery are pictured on the roof
Russia’s defense military in Moscow is pictured as dawn breaks on Saturday. Anti-aircraft artillery are pictured on the roof

In response, Russian military vehicles were seen on the streets of Moscow.

The FSB security services earlier said they had opened a criminal investigation into Prigozhin and called for his arrest, accusing him of inciting armed insurrection.

More details to follow….

(DAILY MAIL)

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