Mutinous Russian mercenary fighters have advanced towards Moscow after seizing a southern city overnight, with Russia’s military firing on them from the air but seemingly incapable of slowing their lightning advance. (Media Report )


Russia has accused private mercenary group Wagner of armed mutiny and ordered arrest of its chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the rebellion by Prigozhin a stab in the back and vowed to punish those responsible. Russian military helicopters have opened fire on a convoy of rebel mercenaries who were rapidly advancing towards Moscow after seizing a southern city Rostov-on-Don. Fighters from Wagner were reportedly in control of Rostov-on-Don city which is close to the border with Ukraine.

Mr Putin in a televised address today vowed to crush an armed mutiny he compared to Russia’s Civil War a century ago. Mr Putin said, the unfolding events were a betrayal of the country and its people and Russia would defend itself from internal treachery. He stressed that a civil war will not be allowed to repeat itself in the country.

The statement came as the head of the Russian private mercenary group Wagner threatened to Russia’s military leadership today. Prigozhin while accusing the Russian military of attacking his forces said that his fighters have crossed the border into Russia from Ukraine. He said in an audio message that he and his men would punish anyone who stood in their way. 

Meanwhile, Russian authorities have tightened security in several regions after the Wagner group chief vowed to topple the Moscow leadership. Russia’s FSB security service has opened a criminal case against Prigozhin and has called on the Wagner private military company forces to ignore his orders and arrest him. Mr Putin is getting round-the-clock updates from security officials on their efforts to counter the attempt at an armed mutiny.