'This is treason': Putin condemns Wagner Group's march toward Moscow, vows no mercy

As the Wagner troops, a private army headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, headed toward Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the armed rebellion led by his former ally. 

"Last night," Putin said, "I spoke to the commander of the southern troops. This is a criminal, adventuristic campaign. It is equivalent to armed mutiny. Russia will defend itself and will repel this criminal move. We are fighting for the life and the security of our citizens, and our territorial integrity."



"This is an attempt to subvert us from inside," Putin said. "This is treason in the face of those who are fighting on the front. This is a stab in the back of our troops and the people of Russia."



There has been a long-running conflict between Wagner and the military leaders of Russia's army. In May, Prigozhin and his men took the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut and later turned it over to the Russian military.

Prigozhin has accused the Russian forces of attacking his own troops, and claimed to have control over Russian military HQ near the front lines in Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don. Video on social media showed tanks on the streets, and Prigozhin entering the compound.

"We are going farther," Prigozhin said, "we will go to the end." Video on social media showed traffic jams on Russian highways, saying that citizens were fleeing both Moscow and Rostov-on-Don.

Additional reports indicated that the Russian National Guard and the Federal Security Service had undertaken a raid of the Wagner Group's headquarters in Saint Petersburg.

 

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