How many years in jail can Prigozhin and Wagner’s rebels get?


The rebellion against the Kremlin by the mercenaries of the Wagner group, in the midst of the war in Ukraine, has led Vladimir Putin to send a forceful message against the insurgents: he has branded them “traitors” and has threatened harsh prison terms for the mutineers.

This past dawn, the head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced on the Telegram account of the armed group that he has under control the  General Staff of the Russian forces in the city of Rostov, in the south of the country, thus rebelling against the Russian Army.”We control the Rostov military facilities, including the airfield,” he said in the message.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has accused Prigozhin of organizing an armed mutiny after claiming, without providing evidence, that Russian military leaders had killed large numbers of their fighters in an airstrike and vowing revenge.

Specifically, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused him of “treason” for the  uprising that began last night and in front of her  he announces that he will respond “harshly” and “will be punished.” 

“The one who organized and prepared the military rebellion betrayed Russia and will answer for that,” he said during a speech to the nation broadcast on public television. In said speech, he pointed out that the armed forces have already received the pertinent orders to protect the country. What jail terms do the soldiers of the Wagner group and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin face?

What are the charges?

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee has announced that Prigozhin’s statements have been the ‘starting gun’ for the initiation of the criminal case for the charges against him before the law. In fact, a criminal case has already been initiated for the organization of mutiny and treason. But they have also indicated that the accusations made by Vladimir Putin are “illegal”.

The Russian president, known for his harsh punishments against “traitors”, has always been questioned by human rights organizations and some democratic countries for handing out unfair sentences to those accused of the regime. 

Subsequently, the General Prosecutor’s Office justified that the criminal case was initiated legitimately and was justified. The Prosecutor’s Office promised to provide legal advice to the defendant Prigozhin.

With these accusations on the table, the founder of Wagner can face sentences of between 12 and 20 years in prison.. Years that would also be applicable to the mercenaries of his group, as reported by the Russian News Agency TASS.

Who would be imprisoned?

The main defendant is the businessman Yevgueni Prigozhin, who for years and until a few hours ago was a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and who is the visible head of the Wagner Group.

This is the private militia founded in Russia in 2013, made up of ex-convicts and mercenaries, who would also be convicted of treason. These soldiers have executed covert operations all over the planet and are known for their brutal actions in the war in Ukraine.

Civil conflict?

Yevgeny Prigozhin posted on the Wagner Group Telegram channel that the Russian Defense Ministry attacked his units with aerial bombardments for rising up against the government. Information that said Ministry discredited.

From the press office of the Federal Security Service (FSB) they announced that they took measures due to the seriousness of the situation and the threat of a possible escalation of the conflict in Russia. In addition, he asked the fighters of this armed group to disobey Prigozhin’s orders and detain him for trial.

“Prigozhin’s statements and actions effectively call for an armed civil conflict on Russian soil and is a stab in the back for the Russian military fighting with pro-Nazi Ukrainian forces,” the press office said.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has assured that President Vladimir Putin “is taking the necessary measures” on the situation around Prigozhin.