SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Russia’s Prigozhin in his own words on the ‘mutiny’

Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Monday, in his first public comments since ending a one-day mutiny by his Wagner force on Saturday, that it had been intended to register a protest over the ineffectual conduct of the war in Ukraine, not to overthrow the government in Moscow.

Following are the key quotes from his 11-minute audio message released on the Telegram messaging app.

ON THE CAUSES:

“As a result of intrigues and ill-considered decisions, this unit (Wagner) was supposed to cease to exit on July 1.

“The council of commanders gathered, which brought all the information to the fighters, and no one agreed to sign a contract with the ministry of defense, as everyone knows perfectly well… that this would have led to a complete loss of combat capability.

“Experienced fighters, experienced commanders would simply be smashed and turned into meat; they would not be able to use their combat potential and combat experience.

“Those fighters who decided that they were ready to transfer to the ministry of defense did transfer, but this was a small amount of 1-2%.

“The decision to transfer (Wagner) to the defense ministry was taken at the most inopportune moment.”

ON ROSTOV:

“We were taking inventory and were going to leave on June 30 in a column to Rostov and publicly hand over the equipment near the headquarters of the SVO if there was no solution.”

“Despite the fact that we did not show any aggression, a missile strike was launched on us and immediately after that the helicopters worked on us. About 30 fighters of the Wagner PMC (Private Military Company) were killed, some were injured.

“This was the trigger for… the Council of Commanders deciding that we should start moving immediately.”

ON THE MARCH:

“The aim was to prevent the destruction of the PMC and to bring to justice those persons who made a huge number of mistakes during their unprofessional actions. This was demanded by the public, all the servicemen who saw us during the march supported us.”

“During the entire march, which lasted 24 hours, one column went to Rostov, the other – in the direction of Moscow. During a day, we travelled 780 kilometers, to within just 200 kilometers of Moscow.

“Not a single soldier on the ground was killed. We regret that we had to strike at aviation, but they hurled bombs (at us) and launched missile strikes.

“We blocked all military units and airfields that were in our path.

“When we walked past Russian cities on June 23-24, civilians greeted us with Russian flags and with the emblems and flags of the Wagner PMC. They were all happy when we passed by. Many of them are still writing words of support, and some are disappointed that we stopped, because in the ‘march of justice’, in addition to our struggle for existence, they saw support for the fight against bureaucracy and other ills that exist in our country today.

“We started our march because of injustice. On the way, we didn’t kill a single soldier on the ground. In one day they reached a point just 200 kilometers from Moscow, (and) they took complete control of the city of Rostov.

“We gave a master class in how it should have been done on February 24, 2022 (when Russia sent troops into Ukraine). We did not have the goal of overthrowing the existing regime and the legally elected government.”

    Source:
  • Reuters