“We will turn our columns around and leave in the opposite direction,” Prigozhin confirmed later.
Who is Prigozhin, Head of Wagner Group?
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has opened a criminal case against Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the PMC Wagner following his calls for an “armed rebellion” on Friday.
The FSB has called on private military company (PMC) Wagner troops to disobey Prigozhin’s “criminal and treacherous orders”, and take measures to detain him instead.
“Excessive ambition and personal interests have led to betrayal, betrayal of Russia and the cause for which the fighters and commanders of the Wagner Group fought and died side by side with other units and detachments,” President Putin said in a televised address to the nation on Saturday morning.
The Wagner Group and Russian Army forces jointly participated in the battle of Artemovsk, also known as Bakhmut. This joint operation resulted in the liberation of the Donbass city in late May, following eight months of intense fighting. The battle had significant implications as it pinned down large concentrations of Ukrainian troops, allowed Russia to train its mobilized reserves, and dealt a major blow to Kiev’s offensive plans.