Head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigrozhin, has issued a bold threat, stating that his fighters now have control over military buildings and the airport in Rostov and are prepared to march on Moscow.
Prigrozhin has alleged that poor military leadership and the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Russian soldiers are the responsibility of Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defence Minister, and Valery Gerasimov, the head of the Russian military. He claims that if these officials are handed over to him, he will return control of Rostov to the Russian government.
In a video captured in the center of Rostov, Prigrozhin, dressed in military attire and armed, declared, “Until they are no more, we will stay here, blocking the city of Rostov, and then we will go to Moscow.” Rostov serves as the primary military headquarters for top Russian commanders involved in the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The footage also revealed heavily armed fighters wearing Wagner badges freely roaming the city and assuming defensive positions. Prigrozhin emphasized, “We are not running away. We came to stop the shame of the country in which we live. We are saving Russia.”
In response to these developments, Russia’s FSB security services have initiated a criminal case against Prigrozhin for inciting armed rebellion. However, he has denied any involvement in a coup attempt.
The situation in Rostov highlights the escalating tensions surrounding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Prigrozhin’s actions further complicate the already complex dynamics at play, as his Wagner mercenary group operates as a proxy force with alleged ties to the Russian government.
As the situation unfolds, the international community closely watches the developments and their potential impact on regional stability.