NewsVladimir Putin affirmed that he stopped "a bloodshed" and condemned the riot...

    Vladimir Putin affirmed that he stopped “a bloodshed” and condemned the riot in Russia

    With palpable anger, Russia’s President Vladimir V. Putin released his first public comments Monday since a paramilitary revolt was called off on Saturday. In a five-minute speech, he argued that the uprising led by Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, whom he did not mention by name, failed because “the whole Russian society came together and brought everyone together”.

    “They wanted the Russians to fight each other,” Putin said. “They rubbed their hands dreaming of revenge for their failures at the front and during the so-called counteroffensive. But they miscalculated, ”he said, thanking the Russian army.

    Putin’s comments seemed to be intended to project unity and stability while doubts were raised about the strength of his hold on power. He spoke hours after Prigozhin made his first remarks since Saturday. The mercenary leader said his rebellion was a protest against a new law that would force his fighters in Ukraine to sign government contracts by July 1.

    Minister. The questioned head of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, upon arriving at the Kremlin for the meeting with Putin. (AP)

    Both men had kept a low profile since members of the Wagner paramilitary force ended their daring march on Moscow on Saturday. The public display of dissent represented the biggest challenge to Putin’s authority in his decades at the helm of the country.

    What about Wagner

    The future of Wagner’s mercenary group remains unclear. Prigozhin said in comments to him on Monday that he did not intend to overthrow Putin and that he was only protesting the new law which he claimed would have effectively halted Wagner’s operations in Ukraine. His location remains unknown.

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    As questions arose Monday about how the fallout from the revolt would affect the war and Putin’s future, the Kremlin sought to project an air of normalcy. Russia released a video of Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu for the first time since the uprising, suggesting that he remained in his post despite Prigozhin’s scathing criticism.

    The Ukrainian counteroffensive continues, making small gains and probing the Russian lines for vulnerabilities. Hanna Malyar, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, said on Monday that the Ukrainian armed forces had rectured some 50 square miles along the southern front line since the counteroffensive began.

    This Monday, Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu could be seen during the televised part of Putin’s meeting with their defense and security chiefs. It seemed to be another sign of confidence in the minister, who for months was criticized by the Wagner founder.

    Earlier in the day, Russia released a video of Shoigu, saying that he had traveled to a command post involved in the invasion, but without specifying when the visit had occurred.

    Vladimir Putin’s second television pearance of the evening is even shorter than his first, when peared in a video talking to workers in a factory.

    deliberations.  President Putin with his advisers in the Kremlin (Reuters)

    deliberations. President Putin with his advisers in the Kremlin (Reuters)

    The televised portion of Putin’s introductory remarks at his meeting with his security chiefs lasted only a few minutes. He is seen telling officials gathered at a conference table that they will discuss “the tasks before us as a result of the events that hpened in the country.”

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    A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said Putin would meet Monday night with the heads of several Russian law enforcement agencies, as well as the Defense Minister, one of the main targets of Prigozhin’s criticism, both during his brief rebellion as long before.

    Reactions in Ukraine

    While Putin was addressing the uprising of Wagner’s forces, the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was stressing unity with his own army. Zelensky’s office released a photo of the president’s soldiers visiting near the front line in eastern Ukraine early Monday.

    Under the deal that ended the uprising on Saturday, Prigozhin agreed to leave Russia for Belarus. In his speech, Putin alluded to the possibility that Wagner fighters who did not want to join the Russian armed forces, as they are required by law from July 1, a change that Prigozhin said was a motivator for their revolt, can move to Belarus too.

    Two days after Wagner’s group of mercenaries withdrew from their daring march on Moscow in a brief rebellion that challenged the foundations of Russia’s power hierarchy, his fate is in limbo.

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    In his message this Monday, Prigozhin said that his rebellion was a protest against the decision of the Ministry of Defense to force his mercenaries to sign contracts with the government. That would have effectively forced Wagner to disband on Saturday, he said.

    Television.  A Russian citizen watches President Putin's message on national TV (EFE)

    Television. A Russian citizen watches President Putin’s message on national TV (EFE)

    Wagner fighters who did not participate in the rebellion can sign contracts with the Defense Ministry and continue as fighters, the Kremlin had announced that day.

    unknowns about mercenaries

    Andrei Kartolov, a deputy in Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, said lawmakers had been discussing legislation that would regulate mercenary groups like Wagner. After their armed uprising, the fate of Wagner as an organization remains unresolved, he said.

    “We need to determine its future,” he told Vedomosti, a Russian business daily, on Sunday. “Will they still exist? What will they be called? Who will they report to?

    He added: “We probably need to change their leadership.”

    Russian state media reported on Sunday that Wagner’s troops had returned to their camps in Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region.

    Wagner is the most powerful group and known to mercenary organizations in Russia. Some of the other groups have existed under the auspices of the National Guard, including regiments led by Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen strongman, who backed President Vladimir V. Putin during Wagner’s rebellion.

    The New York Times.

    Source: Clarin

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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