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Mercenary Uprising: Russian Military Clashes with Rebel Convoy En Route to Moscow

Tensions escalate in Russia as military helicopters engage with a rebellious mercenary convoy advancing towards Moscow.

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin

Showdown with Rebels: Russian Military Counterattacks

In an alarming escalation of internal conflict, Russian military helicopters on Saturday engaged a convoy of rebel mercenaries. The armed group had made considerable headway towards Moscow, rapidly advancing after their unexpected overnight capture of a southern city.

Putin Pledges to Crush Mutiny, Recalls Civil War Shadows

President Vladimir Putin was resolute in his response, drawing parallels with Russia's Civil War a century ago and promising a strong crackdown on what he termed an armed rebellion.

Prigozhin's Militia Takes Over Rostov-on-Don

The rebels, hailing from Yevgeny Prigozhin's private Wagner militia, took over Rostov-on-Don, a city of over a million residents near the Ukrainian border, and swiftly progressed through western Russia.

Eyewitness Account: Military Helicopters vs Wagner Column

Eyewitnesses, including a Reuters journalist, reported seeing army helicopters target an armed Wagner column progressing past the city of Voronezh, bolstered by troop carriers and at least one tank.

Rostov-on-Don Falls: Prigozhin Captures Southern Military District

Prigozhin, who has a long history of disputes with Russia's top brass, claimed his private army had seized the Southern Military District's headquarters in Rostov, having led his forces into Russia from Ukraine.

Residents Witness Rebellion: The Scene in Rostov-on-Don

Rostov-on-Don, the major logistical hub for Russia's entire invasion force, was swept by chaos as residents filmed the Wagner fighters establishing positions in armored vehicles and tanks.

Moscow on Alert: Security Tightens Amid Rebellion

Increased security measures were evident in Moscow, with Red Square cordoned off by metal barriers.

Putin Accuses Rebels of Treason, Prigozhin Fires Back

Labeling the insurrection as treasonous, Putin pledged harsh punishment for those involved. However, a defiant Prigozhin rebuffed Putin's accusations, asserting his and his men's patriotism and their refusal to capitulate.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

West Monitors Unfolding Crisis in Nuclear-Armed Russia

The precarious situation in nuclear-armed Russia drew the attention of Western capitals. U.S. President Joe Biden was briefed, and the UK defense ministry noted the incident as the most significant recent challenge to the Russian state.

The Fate of Russia's Invasion Force Amid Internal Unrest

Putin's ability to maintain control hinges on whether he can rally sufficient loyal forces to counter the rebel mercenaries, given the majority of Russia's military is deployed in Ukraine. The internal rebellion also threatens the cohesion of Russia's invasion force in Ukraine, especially as Kyiv intensifies its counter-offensive.

Inside Prigozhin's Revolt: A Look at the Wagner Militia

Prigozhin, a former convict and long-time ally of Putin, commands a private army comprising thousands of ex-prisoners. Accusing the regular army's leadership of incompetence and withholding ammunition, Prigozhin had earlier defied orders to place his troops under the Defense Ministry's command.

On the Front Lines: The Mercenary Mutiny Unfolds

Launching the apparent mutiny following allegations of an airstrike killing many of his fighters, Prigozhin promised to break any barriers in his way, including checkpoints and air forces. His actions prompted an appeal from Army Lieutenant-General Vladimir Alekseyev, urging Prigozhin to reconsider.