Mutinous Russian mercenaries halt onslaught on Moscow

Moscow (Caasimada Online) – In a dramatic turn of events, Russian mercenaries previously advancing towards Moscow have agreed to halt, according to their leader.

This development signals a de-escalation of a threat that posed a significant challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s authority.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the former Putin ally and head of the Wagner private army, said on Saturday that the fighters were a mere 200 km from the capital when they chose to stop.

“Now the moment has come when blood could be spilled,” Prigozhin noted in an audio message.

“Understanding that Russian blood will be spilled on one side, we are turning our columns around and going back to field camps as planned.”

Before traversing the country rapidly, the mercenaries had seized Rostov, hundreds of miles south.

Prigozhin stated that the halt was orchestrated to avert bloodshed, citing their desire not to spill the blood of their fighters as the key motivation.

Belarus-brokered deal 

According to his office, the agreement to halt Wagner’s advancement across Russia was mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

This action was taken in return for the assurance of safety for the mercenaries. At the time of reporting, there was no official statement from Putin’s office regarding the agreement.

Earlier, Prigozhin had indicated that his “march for justice” aimed to eliminate corrupt and inept Russian commanders he blames for mishandling the war in Ukraine.

During a televised address from the Kremlin, Putin declared that Russia’s existence was at stake, vowing retribution for those who orchestrated the armed insurrection.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pointed to the Wagner revolt as a symptom of disarray in Russia.

“Today, the world can see that the masters of Russia control nothing—simply complete chaos. An absence of any predictability,” Zelenskiy said.

In a show of international concern, U.S. President Joe Biden engaged in talks with the leaders of France, Germany, and Britain.

In addition, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with G7 nations, while the top U.S. military officer, Army General Mark Milley, canceled a trip to the Middle East due to the situation in Russia.

The Rostov takeover

The Wagner fighters had also managed to take control of Rostov, the city serving as the primary logistical hub for Russia’s invasion force in Ukraine, without firing a single shot.

Videos from Rostov show locals filming the mercenaries in armored vehicles and battle tanks as they assumed positions in the city.

The situation was tense, with locals asking the fighters if a civil war was on the horizon.

“No, everything will be fine,” a mercenary responded. The area surrounding Rostov, a critical oil, gas, and grains hub, was under control.

Britain’s defense ministry states that the insurrection poses “the most significant challenge to the Russian state in recent times.”

This upheaval threatens to leave Russia’s invasion force in Ukraine in chaos, precisely as Kyiv is launching its most robust counteroffensive since the war began last year.