Russian state media’s announcement that President Vladimir Putin was to make his first televised speech since denouncing Wagner’s “mutiny” on June 24, caused much excitement among the international media.
As it started, however, it became obvious that Putin’s address was not live, as had been anticipated, but pre-recorded.
Putin, as in his June 24 broadcast, did not display his usual self-assuredness. In fact, his eyes moving along the lines of his speech on the teleprompter merely amplified a sense of detachment. The tenor of this address seemed hesitant and desperate, with one commentator suggesting he had been reluctantly persuaded to make it.
Putin claimed that Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mutiny was “resolutely rejected by [Russian] society” and that he personally ordered that “steps be taken to avoid a lot of bloodshed.” He praised the Russian pilots that had apparently been shot down by Wagner mercenaries for having “saved Russia from tragic devastating consequences.”
“I thank all our military personnel, law enforcement officers, special services who stood in the way of the rebels, remained faithful to their duty, oath and their people,” the Russian president said.
Two days after Wagner’s troops had marched towards Moscow, Putin asserted: “Today I once again appeal to all citizens of Russia. Thank you for your endurance, solidarity and patriotism.”
Putin added that “a firm, unequivocal position of support for the constitutional order was taken by public organizations, religious denominations, leading political parties – in fact, by the entire Russian society.”
“This civic solidarity has shown that any blackmail and attempts to arrange internal unrest are doomed to failure. I repeat – the highest consolidation of society, executive and legislative power was shown at all levels,” the Russian president added.
Putin confirmed his view that “the overwhelming majority” of the Wagner company are Russian patriots. “By turning back, they avoided further bloodshed,” Putin exclaimed.
He went on to say that he will keep his promise to those from Wagner who had not shed blood that they are free to sign a contract or move to Belarus, thus implying an intention to intending to shut down Wagner.
Putin went on to claim that the mutiny would have been suppressed anyway and that all necessary decisions to neutralize the threat were taken at the very beginning.
He thanked Belarus' leader Alexander Lukashenko for his efforts to resolve the situation peacefully, but asserted that it was society's unity that played the decisive role.
Putin also emphasized that those who staged the "mutiny" wanted Russia to lose "and our society to drown in blood, but they miscalculated".
Putin made his view known that the West and Ukraine wanted Russians to “kill each other.”
Russian media announced that, on completion of the broadcast, Putin would be holding a meeting with the heads of Russian security services, and the armed forces, which would include the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, in another confirmation that he retains Putin’s confidence.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter