US Says Wagner uprising a direct challenge to Russian president Vladimir Putin | World News - Hindustan Times

US Says Wagner uprising a direct challenge to Russian president Vladimir Putin | 10 points

Jun 25, 2023 07:14 PM IST

Wagner Group Russia coup: The mercenary forces have left Lipetsk, Voronezh and Rostov after the mutiny was called off last night.

Day after the Wagner group called off its mutiny against the Russian military leadership after its forced advanced to within a few hundred miles of Moscow, the Yevgeny Prigozhin-led mercenary private army had returned to the base under the deal mediated by Belarus.

China's deputy foreign minister Ma Zhaoxu and Russian deputy foreign minister Andrey Rudenko met in Beijing a day after Kremlin managed to defuse a major mutiny by the 50,000-strong Wagner army which just stopped short of the Russian capital.

Wagner Group Russia Coup Live Updates

Here are the top 10 developments unfolding in Russia

1. The Wagner forces have left the southern Russian city of Voronezh, which they had overtaken yesterday. Local governor Alexander Gusev said the movement of Wagner forces was underway without any incident. News agency quoted him saying that the travel restrictions will be lifted once the situation is ‘resolved’. In Rostov where the mercenaries had taken over a military headquarter office, trains and bus services resumed and road restrictions were lifted.

Members of Wagner group look from a military vehicle in Rostov-on-Don late on Saturday.(AFP)
Members of Wagner group look from a military vehicle in Rostov-on-Don late on Saturday.(AFP)

2. Earlier in the day, foreign media outlet War Monitor tweeted that the Wagner still holds the airfield in Rostov. Later, the twitter handled informed that the airfield was functioning normally after the mercenaries had left.

3. Kremlin said on Sunday that Beijing had backed its efforts to counter the armed uprising led by Yevgeny Prigozhin. The Russian foreign ministry in a statement said that the Chinese side expressed support for the efforts of the Russian leadership to stabilise the situation in the country. Moscow added that Beijing 'reaffirmed its interest in strengthening the unity and further prosperity of Russia.

4. As per a latest AFP report, Wagner fighters have also left the Lipetsk region after the deal to call off the mutiny against Moscow materialised.

5. There are no reports of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin reaching Belarus after reaching a deal with Kremlin for exile and end the mutiny. It is unclear whether he would join his Wagner troops, if any of them are present there.

6. It has now come to the light that the US intelligence agencies had briefed their military and administration officials on Wednesday after Prigozhin's plans to take on the senior Russian military leadership. But the agencies kept mum about the Wagner chief's plans, as they felt Putin would accuse them of orchestrating coup, New York Times reported.

7. US secretary of state Antony Blinken has said Russia crisis reveals 'real cracks' in Putin's authority. He added that US President Joe Biden has not tried to reach out to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The uprising by the Wagner private mercenary group and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin over the weekend marked “a direct challenge to Putin's authority. So this raises profound questions, it shows real cracks”, Blinken told CBS News.

8. Russian troops deployed to protect the capital have withdrawn after mercenary forces headed toward Moscow retreated, AP reported. Moscow had braced for the arrival of the Wagner forces by erecting checkpoints with armored vehicles and troops on the city’s southern edge.

9. In an interview apparently recorded before the revolt, Putin was heard expressing confidence in plans for Ukraine. "We feel confident, and, of course, we are in a position to implement all the plans and tasks ahead of us," Putin said.

10. Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu seen as Putin's key ally, seems to have vanished from public view. His position is apparently precarious due to the severity of the Wagner forces against him and the Russian president. The minister of defence was nowhere to be seen at the time and has, for the moment, completely vanished from the public view.

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