Members of the Wagner Group cut most of the way to Moscow before their leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced today, Saturday, the approval of the initiative of the President of Belarus and the announcement of the return of his forces to avoid bloodshed.
Below is a timeline of events that have unfolded over the past 24 hours.
The beginning of the rebellion
1- The beginning was yesterday, Friday, when Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the group, published a video clip in which he escalated the tone of his disagreement with senior military officers in Russia, and for the first time rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s basic justifications for invading Ukraine.
2- In a series of audio recordings on Telegram, he said that the “evil” of the Russian military leadership “must stop” and that the Wagner forces
They will lead a “march for justice” against the Russian army.
3- The Russian Federal Security Service responded by opening a criminal case against Prigozhin, saying that he had called for armed rebellion.
4- The deputy commander of the Russian campaign in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, urged the Wagner Group to stop its opposition to the military leadership and return to its bases.
5. Prigozhin said on Saturday that his men had crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia and were ready to go “to great lengths” in their opposition to the Russian army.
6. Wagner fighters entered the southern Russian city of Rostov, Putin’s chef said in an audio recording posted on Telegram.
7- The White House announced that it is monitoring the situation between Russia and the Wagner Group, and will consult with allies and partners on developments.
8- The governor of the Rostov region bordering Ukraine in southern Russia advises residents to remain calm and stay in their homes, as it became clear that Wagner’s forces had taken control of the city of Rostov.
9 – The Russian Ministry of Defense issues a statement appealing to the Wagner fighters to abandon Prigozhin, saying that they were “deceived and drawn into a criminal adventure.”
10 – A Russian security source told Reuters that Wagner fighters took control of all military facilities in the city of Voronezh, about 500 km south of Moscow.
11- Putin delivers a televised speech pledging to crush what he called the armed rebellion and accusing the Wagner leader of “treason” and directing a “stab in the back” to Russia.
12 – Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of Putin, says his forces are ready to help put down Prigozhin’s rebellion and use harsh methods if necessary.
Western countries are watching
13- European governments including Britain, France, Germany and Italy issue statements saying they are closely monitoring developments in Russia. Many other governments release similar statements throughout the day.
14- Russian military helicopters open fire on a convoy of rebel mercenaries after they cut more than half way towards Moscow in a lightning advance after capturing Rostov during the night.
‘The vulnerability is evident’
15 – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that “Russia’s weakness is clear” and that the longer Moscow keeps its forces and mercenaries in Ukraine for a longer period, the greater the chaos that will invite it to retreat.
16 – The Russian news agency TASS quoted Sergey Naryshkin, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, as saying that it is clear that Prigozhin’s attempt to destabilize society and spark a civil war has failed.
17- The Vedomosti newspaper published pictures of Russian soldiers setting up a machine gun position on the southwestern edge of Moscow. The pictures also showed a gathering of armed police at the point of arrival of the M4 highway, in which the private military group Wagner is advancing, to the Russian capital.
18- The Turkish presidency announces that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and urged him to act rationally.
19- Belarus issues a statement reaffirming its alliance with Russia.
20 – The White House said that US President Joe Biden spoke with the leaders of France, Germany and Britain, and that they affirmed their firm support for Ukraine. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also said that he had spoken with his counterparts in the Group of Seven and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
21- The Russian Information Agency announces that Putin has signed a law allowing imprisonment for 30 days for those who violate martial law in areas where
it was imposed.
22 – The TASS news agency quoted lawmaker Pavel Krasheninnikov as saying that the Wagner Group’s mercenaries were promised amnesty if they laid down their arms, “but they have to do it quickly.”
23- The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement warning Western countries against exploiting the rebellion of the Wagner Group “to achieve their goals related to
24 – The office of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, said that it had brokered an agreement with Prigozhin, who had agreed to de-escalate the situation.
25 – Commander Wagner announces that he has ordered his fighters, who are advancing towards Moscow in a convoy, to retreat and return to their bases to avoid bloodshed.
26 – The Kremlin announces that the armed rebellion case against Bergozhin will be dropped, and that he will go to Belarus.
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