Home Business News Wagner ‘shoot down’ Russian ‘communications plane’ and Putin’s ‘power is on the line’ in suspected coup

Wagner ‘shoot down’ Russian ‘communications plane’ and Putin’s ‘power is on the line’ in suspected coup

24th Jun 23 2:12 pm

Members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle have called on the Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev to immediately seize power as there are real concerns the tyrant has been weakened by Wagner Group.

Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has stormed into the Russian military HQ in Rostov-on-Don and have taking control of the airfield and key sites on Saturday morning with his battle hardened mercenaries.

Almost 200 Russian security forces and soldiers lay down their arms this morning at the Voronezh border in support of Wagner and have refused to interfere with Prigozhin’s plans.

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the Wagner armed rebellion is “the most significant challenge” for the Russian state as Prigozhin has vowed to topple the Kremlin’s leadership.

Read more on Russia-Ukraine war:

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The rebellion starts with Moscow in lockdown as the Wagner chief is ‘serious challenge’ for Putin

‘Russian air strike on Wagner’ convoy heading to Moscow as ‘civilians welcome mercenaries in Rostov

The feud between the Russian Defence Ministry and Prigozhin has now “escalated into outright military confrontation” inside Russia which could end in Moscow.

The MoD said in their intelligence report, “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.

“In Rostov-on-Don, Wagner has almost certainly occupied key security sites, including the HQ which runs Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.

“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.”

Wagner mercenaries also shot down a Russian Air Force II-18 communications aircraft killing all nine on board as it exploded with a debris field seen in the Voronezh region.

Prigozhin claims he and his troops were “saving Russia” and has made demands that the Russian authorities give up Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, who has now gone into hiding.

Prigozhin said, “We want to get the chief of the General Staff and Shoigu.

“Until they are here, we are here, we are blocking the city of Rostov and go toward Moscow.”

Prigozhin met with the powerful Russian GRU this morning and may have their support as he is making “a play for the loyalty” of Russian army soldiers.

Defence analyst, Professor Michael Clarke said he is courting the Russian soldiers as he is voicing talking points from the front line, that troops believe they are being senselessly thrown into useless attacks in the “meat grinder.”

“What Prigozhin is banking on is that the army, or significant units in the army, will sit on their hands,” said Professor Clarke told Sky News.

He added, “Putin must know that his whole special military operation is not just on the line, but his power is on the line.

“This is far and away his biggest crisis in 23 years and it has blown up in 36 hours.”

However, despite this he expects Putin will “emerge from this” but his position will be “weakened” within the Kremlin regime.

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