Prigozhin Releases New Message Saying “We Were on The March of Justice”

June 26, 2023

Wagner mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin resurfaced on Monday for the first time since launching a brief uprising against the Kremlin, posting an 11-minute voice recording to social media.

“We showed no aggression, but we were hit by missiles and helicopters. This was the trigger,” Prigozhin said in the audio recording.

In a portion of the audio clip posted on TikTok and translated by Britain’s Sky News, Prigozhin adds, “Why is the nation supporting us? Because we were on the march of justice. We were attacked first by artillery, then by helicopters, and we went without firing a single shot. We didn’t touch a single conscript, we didn’t kill a single person along the way. Aviation, helicopters, airplanes worked against us.”

Prigozhin adds, “We reached Rostov without firing a shot. We captured the headquarters building. We have not interfered with the work of a single person. There were people on the streets unfurling Wagner PMC flags.” 

Despite a deal struck by Belarus President Aleksander Lukashenko that Prigozhin’s mercenaries would receive immunity, and that charges brought against Prigozhin himself be dropped, after he turned his “columns” away from their march toward Moscow Saturday, Russian state media was reporting Monday that Prigozhin, who has reportedly left Russia for neighboring Belarus, still faces criminal charges anyway.

That deal came after the Wagner chief claimed to have “blockaded” the Russian city of Rostov on the Ukrainian front lines early Saturday morning, then sent mercenaries toward Moscow.

The new audio message from Prigozhin comes as video of him leaving Rostov also surfaced on Russian media and elsewhere on Monday.

According to a translation by Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, someone off camera asks Prigozhin, “How’s the result today?” presumably meaning Saturday. Prigozhin replies, “Cheered everyone up.”

Prigozhin has not mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin in his messages over the course of the crisis, saving his ire for the Kremlin’s military brass. However, the standoff “raises profound questions, it shows real cracks” in Putin’s authority, according to U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

“Prigozhin himself, in this entire incident, has raised profound questions about the very premises of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the first place, saying that Ukraine or NATO did not pose a threat to Russia, which is part of Putin’s narrative,” Blinken added as he made the talk show rounds on Sunday morning.

Ukraine, meanwhile, has taken advantage of the chaos sowed by Prigozhin’s actions. According to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, Ukrainian forces on Sunday retook control of Rivnopil in the southeast—the ninth village or town recaptured by Ukraine since it launched its counteroffensive.

PHOTO: @RT_com  

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