The head of Russia’s Wagner Group has rebelled against the Russian Defense Ministry amid the ongoing war with Ukraine. Following the rebellion of Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian Defense Ministry has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Prigozhin is the owner of Russia’s private army Wagner Group. Prigozhin has also talked about sending his fighters to occupy Rostov-on-Don, the headquarters of the Russian army. Prigozhin could face up to 20 years in prison for armed rebellion.
What is this Wagner Group after all? How does it work? What is the strength of the Wagner Group? What allegations have been levelled against this group? Who is Prigozhin? How did Prigozhin become the head of this private army? Let us know…
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, announced on Saturday the overthrow of the Russian military leadership. Prigozhin accused the Russian military leadership of orchestrating attacks on his people. A few hours before Prigozhin’s announcement, the Russian Defense Ministry had accused Prigozhin of inciting an armed rebellion.
In fact, over the past few months, Prigozhin has been a frequent attacker on the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, and Valery Gerasimov, the army chief in Ukraine. Prigozhin alleges that these two officers deliberately short-supplied Wagner fighters.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry has said that “volunteer formations” in Ukraine must sign contracts with the government by the end of June.
The government announcement did not name the Wagner Group, but the move was seen as an attempt by the government to gain more control over the Wagner Group. Prigozhin then issued a statement announcing that his army would boycott any such contract.
What has been the role of this organization in the Ukraine war?
Fighters from the Wagner group were largely active during the capture of the city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian troops claim that Wagner fighters were sent to launch a massive assault on open ground, which resulted in several casualties.
At the start of the war, the Russian military had not confirmed the Wagner Group’s involvement in the fighting. However, later the courage of these mercenaries was admired.
The Wagner Group is officially called PMC Wagner. The group came into limelight for the first time in 2014. The group was then helping pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. At that time it was a secret organization. This organization was accused of fighting a proxy war for the Russian government in different countries around the world.
The organization is said to have been active in Africa and the Middle East. The group has been accused of involvement in civil wars, particularly in countries such as Libya, Syria, Mozambique, Mali, Sudan and Central Africa. Between 2015 and 2018, the Wagner Group also fought alongside the Russian army and Bashar al-Assad’s troops.
This group is known as Russia’s private military company. After the start of the war last year, this group was given a contract by Russia to target only the President of Ukraine. It was told that Russia had assigned the task of killing Zelensky to the Wagner Group – a group of hired killers.