The British Prime Minister has said that he is “in touch with allies” about “the unfolding” situation in Russia as Wagner Forces are marching at great speed to Moscow.
British defence officials are watching the Wagner rebellion unfold and have warned that the is “the most significant challenge” to Vladimir Putin.
The British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly chaired an emergency COBRA meeting on Saturday afternoon where top officials discussed the ongoing situation in the Russian Federation.
Read more about the Wagner Rebellion:
Wagner ‘shoot down’ Russian ‘communications plane’ and Putin’s ‘power is on the line’ in suspected coup
Cleverly tweeted, “Following events overnight involving Wagner group and the Russian military, we are monitoring the situation carefully and liaising closely with our allies.”
He added, that “we continue to urge British citizens to follow FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) travel advice.”
An FCDO spokesperson said, “The Foreign Secretary has chaired a meeting of COBR to update on the latest situation, particularly with respect to British nationals in Russia.”
The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC, “We’re keeping a close eye on the situation, as it’s evolving on the ground as we speak.
“The most important thing I’d say is for all parties to be responsible and to protect civilians, and that’s about as much as I can say at this moment.”
Sunak was asked if he has spoken to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy, he said, “I’m in touch with our allies.
“I’ll be speaking to some of them later today, as you would expect us to be co-ordinated on a situation like this, but it is evolving as we speak.”
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that “over the coming hours, the loyalty of Russia’s security forces… will be key to how the crisis plays out” as Wagner forces are fast approaching Moscow.
The latest intelligence briefing, the MoD said that the ongoing feud between the Prigohzin and the Russian Defence Ministry “escalated into outright military confrontation” in the early hours of Saturday.
“In an operation characterised by Prigozhin as a ‘march for freedom’, Wagner Group forces crossed from occupied Ukraine into Russia in at least two locations,” the MoD said.
The MoD continued, “Further Wagner units are moving north through Vorenezh Oblast, almost certainly aiming to get to Moscow.
£With very limited evidence of fighting between Wagner and Russian security forces, some have likely remained passive, acquiescing to Wagner.
“Over the coming hours, the loyalty of Russia’s security forces, and especially the Russian National Guard, will be key to how the crisis plays out.
“This represents the most significant challenge to the Russian state in recent times.”