Putin accuses “treason” and orders to “neutralize” rebellion

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, near the Kremlin Wall during the national celebrations of the 'Defender of the Fatherland Day' in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. The Defenders of the Fatherland Day, celebrated in Russia on Feb. 23, honors the nation's military and is a nationwide holiday. (Alexei Nikolsky, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian leader Vladimir Putin described this Saturday (06.24.2023) as “treason” The uprising started on Friday night by the Wagner mercenary group, led by Yevgueni Prigozhin, and stated that those responsible will pay for it. He added that everything that occurs was an act against the country driven by the “excessive personal ambitions” of the head of the paramilitaries.

“It is a stab in the back for our country and our people,” Putin declared during a speech addressed to the nation, which began an hour and 20 minutes after the announcement. “What we are facing is exactly a betrayal. A betrayal caused by excessive ambition and personal interests” by Prigozhin, Putin said, assuring that the rebels will be “inevitably punished.”

The leader assured that he will not allow a civil war in the country. “We will not let that happen again,” Putin declared, after alluding to the civil war in Russia after the First World War. “Any internal turmoil is a deadly threat to our state, our nation. It is a blow against Russia, against our people. And our actions to protect our homeland from such a threat will be firm,” he added.

“Decisive Actions”

Putin recognized that the situation in Rostov was difficult since the region’s military installations were in the hands of the rebels. “The work of the civil and military bodies has been blocked,” he said, but promised that “decisive actions” would be taken to stabilize the situation in Rostov, without providing further details. He made no mention of Voronezh, whose military installations are also in Wagner’s hands.

He added that he had already given the order to the armed forces to “neutralize” the rebellion, especially its “intellectual authors”. “The entire military, economic and informational machinery of the West works against us. We are fighting for the life and security of our people, for our sovereignty and independence, for the right to be and continue to be Russia, a state with a thousand-year history,” he added.

On his Telegram channel, Wagner reacted to Putin’s speech with a short text stating that he had made “the wrong decision.” And he adds that “soon we will have a new president.”