Russia Moves to Prosecute Mercenary Leader Amid Accusations of Massacre
In an escalating clash with high-ranking officials, Russia plans to charge Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner private military company, with armed mutiny. This move follows Prigozhin's allegations of Russian military leaders being responsible for the deaths of 2,000 of his mercenaries. The Russian Defence Ministry denies these claims, labeling them an "informational provocation."
Ukraine Gears Up for Major Counteroffensive Amid Tensions in Moscow
While tension rises in Moscow, the Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister, Hanna Maliar, announced that the principal thrust in their counteroffensive against the Russian invasion has yet to be launched. Military advancements in southern Ukraine, one of the primary operational areas along with eastern Ukraine, have reportedly been fruitful.
Mutiny Accusations Spark Security Increase in Moscow
Following the armed mutiny allegations, Russia's FSB security service has opened a criminal case against Prigozhin. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the matter, with appropriate actions being taken. Consequently, security has been heightened in Moscow, particularly around government buildings, transport facilities, and other key locations.
Russian Military Officials Urge Alleged Mutineers to Obey President Putin
General Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of Russia's Ukraine campaign, urged Wagner mercenaries to heed Putin's commands, acknowledge Moscow's commanders, and return to their bases. He warned that political decay would play into the hands of Russia's adversaries, marking what appears to be the biggest domestic crisis Putin has faced since the invasion of Ukraine last year.
Counteroffensive Preparations Ramp Up in Ukraine Amid Tensions
Despite tensions and Russian attacks, Ukraine continues to prepare for its main counteroffensive, with significant force yet to be deployed. Officials signal that the substantial part of the counteroffensive is yet to commence, but there have been considerable advances in Ukraine's Tavria, or southern front.
President Zelenskiy Announces Changes and Anti-Corruption Measures Amid Crisis
In the wake of the ongoing crisis, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced personnel changes and an inquest into the condition of Ukraine's bomb shelters. Aiming to strengthen Ukraine's bid to join the European Union, Zelenskiy announced an audit of military draft offices across the country to fight corruption.
Ukraine Eyes NATO Membership, Hosts International Peace Talks
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov expressed anticipation of a clear signal and "formula" for Ukraine to join NATO during the upcoming summit in Vilnius. This comes as Ukraine prepares to host an informal gathering in Copenhagen with officials from various countries, including those who haven't condemned Russia's invasion, aiming to discuss the principles of peace.