‘Soon we will have a new President’ - Wagner group issue stark warning to Vladimir Putin amid coup fears

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The Wagner mercenary group have issued a stark warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin amid fears of a coup in the country.

Head of the mercenary company, the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, called on his troops to take part in a  “march of justice” on Moscow after blaming Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for an alleged missile attack on its Bakhmut training camp in Ukraine, which killed more than 50 soldiers. Russian security services reacted to the threat immediately by opening a criminal investigation into Prigozhin - calling for his arrest on charges of inciting an "armed rebellion".

A convoy of Wagner group soldiers made its way to the Russian town of Rostov, on route to Moscow, and met no resistance. The group has claimed all military sites in Rostov, a key crossing point for Russia’s military operation, are now under Wagner control.

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Vladimir Putin described the actions of the Wagner Group as a “betrayal” and promised to “defend Russia at all costs”. In response, the Wagner Group has issued a stark warning to the President.

The warning said: “Putin has made the wrong choice. So much the worse for him. Soon we will have a new President.”

Responding to Putin’s address to the nation, Prigozgin took direct aim at the Russian President for the first time. “No one is going to turn themselves in at the request of the president,” he said. “We don’t want the country to continue to live in corruption and lies.

“We are patriots, and those who are against us are the ones who gathered around the bastards,” Prigozhin concluded.

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A member of Wagner group stands guard in a street in the city of Rostov-on-DonA member of Wagner group stands guard in a street in the city of Rostov-on-Don
A member of Wagner group stands guard in a street in the city of Rostov-on-Don | AFP via Getty Images

Footage from Moscow showed armoured vehicles occupying the streets with military officials and roadblocks guarding both the Kremlin and the country’s parliamentary State Duma building.In a statement, head of Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozgin previously said: “We are moving forward and will go until the end. All of us are ready to die. All 25,000, and then another 25,000. We are dying for the Russian people.”

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