Wagner Leader Warns of Impending Consequences for Russian Military

**Head of Wagner Group Threatens Attack on Russian Defense Ministry**

The head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has made threats to attack Russia’s Defense Ministry following a missile strike that he claims killed a large number of his men. This incident has intensified tensions between the feuding Russian camps involved in the war in Ukraine. However, Russia’s Defense Ministry denied these claims, labeling them as a “provocation.” In response, investigators have launched a criminal probe into Prigozhin, accusing him of calling for an armed uprising.

**Prigozhin’s Threats and Accusations**

Prigozhin posted several audio messages on his Telegram channel in which he threatened to “punish” Russia’s military leaders for the alleged attack and the loss of “tens of thousands” of Russian troops. He specifically accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of overseeing an operation to “destroy” Wagner. He also called for an end to the “lawlessness” in the country and invited others to join his cause. Prigozhin emphasized that this was not a military coup but rather a march for justice.

**Response from President Putin and the Kremlin**

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reported that President Vladimir Putin has been informed about the situation and “necessary measures” are being taken. However, it remains unclear what actions will be taken to address Prigozhin’s threats. As of now, there is no indication that the Wagner mercenary group is mobilizing to carry out the attack.

**Prigozhin’s Grievances against the Defense Ministry**

Prigozhin has been openly critical of Shoigu and the Defense Ministry for months, alleging that they have failed to adequately support Wagner forces fighting in Ukraine, particularly during the battles for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. These grievances have fueled his anger and frustration, leading to his recent threats and accusations against Russia’s defense establishment.

**Government Response to Prigozhin’s Actions**

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee has called on Prigozhin to cease his illegal activities, and the Federal Security Service is currently investigating his comments. It is clear that the government views Prigozhin’s actions as a threat to national security and stability.

**Prigozhin’s Challenge to Kremlin Justifications**

Prior to his threats against the Defense Ministry, Prigozhin posted a video on Telegram, where he accused the Defense Ministry of deceiving Russians and Putin about the war in Ukraine. He claimed that the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was not necessary to protect Russian citizens or to demilitarize the country. Instead, Prigozhin alleged that the invasion served the interests of the Defense Ministry, allowing them to claim medals and promotions.

Overall, the situation between Prigozhin and the Russian defense establishment is highly tense and escalating. Prigozhin’s threats to attack the Defense Ministry and his accusations against Shoigu and the Defense Ministry have deepened divisions within the Russian camps involved in the war in Ukraine. The government has taken these threats seriously, launching a criminal probe and calling for an end to Prigozhin’s illegal actions. The future actions of both Prigozhin and the government remain uncertain, and there is a pressing need for dialogue and resolution to prevent further escalation of this conflict.

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