• Overnight. Prigozhin and his mercenary Wagner army moved out of eastern Ukraine and took control of Rostov on Don, a key Russian military planning center for its war against Ukraine, complete with an air base.

  • While returning to Russia from the front in Ukraine’s Donbas, Prigozhin says his forces shot down Russian military helicopters which were sent to attack his forces.

  • Significantly, in Russia, his entry into Rostov was not opposed by the Russian security forces.

  • Indeed, Prigozhin appears to be holding several key officers as de facto hostages and has filmed himself rebuking and humiliating them.

  • The inhabitants of Rostov appear shocked and confused. Some are openly confronting the Wagner fighters, others welcoming them.

  • Some of Prigozhin’s forces have moving towards the Russian city of Voronezh (on the road to Moscow). Some reports say Wagner troops have already taken control of the military facilities in the region while Russian sources indicate that their advance is being blocked by the Russian regular military.

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  • In Moscow there are clear signs of anxiety and of the security forces being placed on high alert. On Saturday morning an "anti-terrorist operation regime" was declared in the Russian capital and the Moscow region. The capital has been effectively closed off and Monday declared a non-working day. The most affluent magnates are reported to have been flying out of Moscow in private planes to foreign destinations.

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  • Just before midday, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin delivered a TV address in which he branded Prigozhin as a “traitor” who is stabbing Russia in back “when the fate of our people is being decided.”   He called for unity, vowed to crush the revolt and not allow a civil war to occur.

  • Prigozhin promptly rejected Putin’s accusations and claimed that he and his Wagner force are the true Russian “patriots.”

  • Chechen strongman Kadyrov signaled his support for Putin by announcing that he was sending some of his Chechen fighters to take on the Wagner force in Rostov.

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  • Prigozhin’s forces continued advancing northwards towards Moscow meeting some resistance from regular troops along the way. They bypassed Yelets in the Lipetsk region and are believed to be some 350 kilometers south of Moscow.

  • Putin is reported to have left Moscow by plane to one of his residences.

  • There is also panic in Minsk within the Lukashenko regime. Moscow’s Belarusian vasal has placed the security forces on full alert after Belarusian democratic leaders issued appeals today to the Belarusian people to use this opportunity to free themselves both of him and Russian control.

  • With reports of fighting around Voronezh, and elsewhere, the battle has been joined. It remains to be seen who in the critical hours ahead might support Prigozhin and who will stay loyal to Putin.

  • And while the world awaits further developments, a splendid opportunity seems to have arrived for Ukraine to unleash the full force of its planned summer counter-offensive.

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Comments (6)

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E A Morgan-Coakle
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A Full Ukrainian attack may unify the disunited Russian groups. Better to make considered gains on choke points.

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Philip Grade one Clark
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Regardless of what anyone may say, Russia is far from being a superpower. Imagine 25,000 mercenaries taking on the nation's armed forces and have broken through several bearers, and now on their way to Moscow. It is even reported that President Putin has left the capital to some remote suburbs. Except for its nuclear capability Russia lacks what is required of a superpower.

Its divided population of the very rich and the majority very poor makes Russia to be categorised a developing nation. I cherish democracy and liberalism, and therefore subscribes to the ousting of Putin by any means to give the Russian people a breathe of fresh air.

Navalny and other democracy activists incarcerated by Putin should be freed to organise constitutional democracy in Russia. Dictatorship is not to be foisted over civilize people in the 21st century.

Zelensky can now move in his forces to push out Russian forces still left from Ukraine.

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Nilchik
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Now is the time for all surrounding countries to put pressure on Russia. To confuse them by doing what they never would have expected (such as how they were surprised with the West's basic unity to help Ukraine); neighboring countries should move troops or signal activity on all borders, no action just activity (Norway, Finland, Estonia, Poland near Konigsberg, Moldova/Romania at Tiraspol, Georgia by their 2 occupied areas, Mongolia near Tuva (previously independent, never historically part of Russia), Japan by their Northern Islands) If everyone applies pressure at once, this is further confuse and weaken Russia, giving Ukraine a chance to act. Actually this should have happened earlier, but now is an excellent time.

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Imokru2
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The violent kleptocracy that is Russia is now fighting with itself. This can only be good news for Ukraine as chaos reigns supreme.
If Russia starts to pull forces out of Ukraine, Zelensky must immediately deploy the forces held in reserve and boot the criminals from the property!

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Vanda
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Anything which gives more breath to Ukraine is wellcome
Slava Ukrajini, herojima slava!

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Henk
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Het is duidelijk Poetin wist dat hij dood ging en zijn laatste daad zal zijn Oekeraine toe te voegen aan Rusland

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