Moscow Security Forces on Alert: Wagner Group Leader Faces Criminal Investigation

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the private military company Wagner Group

Rising Tensions: FSB Targets Wagner Group Leader Over Alleged Call for Mutiny

Criminal Case Initiated by FSB Following Wagner Group Leader’s Call for “Armed Rebellion”

Russia has launched an investigation into Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the private military company Wagner Group, on allegations of promoting a mutiny against the government, as stated by Russia’s anti-terrorism committee on Friday.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner Group, said the Russian army attacked his troops on Friday.

“We were ready to make concessions to the defence ministry, surrender our weapons,” Prigozhin said in an audio message released by his representatives. “Today, seeing that we have not been broken, they conducted missile strikes at our rear camps.”

The Wagner head said the “evil” of the Russian leadership must be stopped.

“Those who destroyed our lads, who destroyed the lives of many tens of thousands of Russian soldiers, will be punished. I ask that no one other resistance,” Prigozhin said.

“There are 25,000 of us and we are going to figure out why chaos is happening in the country,” he added.

The Wagner chief said he was carrying out a march for “justice” in retaliation against Russian military leadership, rather than a “coup.”

The alleged attack on Wagner forces came just hours after Prigozhin lashed out at Russian military leaders, saying they deceived President Vladimir Putin into launching the invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied Prigozhin’s claims of an attack, saying the Wagner head’s allegations “do not correspond to reality and are an informational provocation.”

Despite Prigozhin’s attacks on Russia’s military leadership, he didn’t explicitly criticize Putin. The Wagner chief is still reliant on Putin’s support and maintains a close relationship with the president.

The Wagner chief has been referred to as “Putin’s chef” after he earlier ran a catering service which worked for the Kremlin. Prigozhin now maintains a global influence, with Wagner mercenaries involved not only in Ukraine but also in African countries such as Mali.

Moscows Response

Russian President Putins Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
Russian President Putin’s Spokesman Dmitry Peskov © Sergei Bobylev/TASS

BBC Reports FSB Moscow Directorate on High Alert as Security Measures Increase

A source close to the security services told the BBC that the Moscow directorate of the FSB is being put on alert. This is confirmed by our other sources in army circles, who have reported on the alarm in the Moscow garrison.

The source reveals that the FSB, with support from specialised rapid reaction units of the National Guard, is establishing roadblocks along the Don highway (the Moscow-Voronezh-Rostov-on-Don route).

Personnel stationed at these checkpoints have been instructed to use firearms “in the event of a threat.” Although the equipment is prepared for deployment, the units have yet to receive orders for mobilization.

Additional media reports indicate that security forces in Moscow have been placed on heightened alert, and a plan known as “Fortress” is being implemented in the capital. This plan focuses on safeguarding the facilities of the Interior Ministry.

The specific actions undertaken by officers under this plan are classified as state secrets, but it is publicly acknowledged that access points to Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) buildings are being secured and restricted.

The committee vehemently dismissed all of Prigozhin’s assertions as completely baseless, further revealing that the Federal Security Service (FSB) has commenced a criminal inquiry into his incitement of an armed rebellion.

“We demand an immediate cessation of all unlawful activities,” declared the anti-terrorism committee.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Prigozhin of disseminating false information through a circulating video on social media, which purported that the Russian military had launched an assault on a Wagner fighters’ base.

Prigozhin remarked in response to the alleged attack, “A considerable number of our fighters perished. We will determine our course of action in the face of this atrocity. The next move is ours.” He then vowed to march on Moscow, hold the accountable parties responsible, and cautioned the military to refrain from interfering.

The Defense Ministry denounced Prigozhin’s claims as an “informational provocation” and reiterated that the Russian military was actively engaged in combat against Ukrainian troops on the frontlines.

The Prosecutor-General’s Office affirmed that this crime carries a penalty of imprisonment for a duration of 12 to 20 years.

According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been apprised of the Prigozhin and Wagner situation, and all necessary measures are being taken to address the issue effectively.

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