The rebellion of the Wagner group. Cartoon of 25/06/2023 in CTXT
Within 24 hours, the head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, attempted to ride Putin’s coattails in retaliation for alleged Russian attacks on his positions in Ukraine and threatened to go into martial mode in Moscow. He called the move a “march for justice”.
Prigozhin went so far as to take the city of Rostov, barely 200 kilometres from the capital, with his boys on board his tanks, but there it was said that the owner of Wagner PMC, a company registered in 2022 that runs this private paramilitary company and even has a majestic compound in St. Petersburg as its headquarters, decided to slow down his march towards Moscow to “avoid bloodshed”.
All signs of a coup attempt and/or civil war ended as quickly as it began. Putin called him a traitor and at first it was said that Yevgeny Prigozhin had gone into exile in Belarus after he medicated Belarusian President Alexander Lukashneko.
The paramilitary chief then replied to Putin, assuring him that he is not a traitor, that he is a patriot and that he would not turn himself in.
Finally, Putin offered him another arrangement that guaranteed the safety of Wagner’s rebels: join the army, go to Belarus or lay down his arms. After this, Prigozhin posted an audio message on Telegram in which he assured that he did not intend to overthrow the Russian government.
Who knows how this will turn out.
I don’t think anyone has much doubt about how such a paramilitary racket is financed. Their presence in scams in Africa and the Middle East is documented.
Some media did not know where to lay the egg to define this mercenary group that calls itself a “private military company”, which is forbidden under Russian law, and went so far as to call them “heroes”. In practice, the Wagner group is illegal, according to Article 359 of the Russian Criminal Code, and unconstitutional, since the Constitution, in Article 13, prohibits “the creation and activities of organisations whose aim is the creation of armed units”.(1)