The Russian Defense Ministry has published a video of Sergey Shoigu’s trip to the front lines after the mutiny of the head of the Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin, who demanded his resignation.
According to the military department, Shoigu “checked the forward command post” of “one of the associations” of the Western grouping of troops in Ukraine.
On the spot, he heard a report by Colonel General Yevgeny Nikiforov, commander of the grouping, on “the current situation, the nature of enemy actions and the performance of combat tasks by Russian troops in the main tactical directions”.
Shoigu ordered to “continue active reconnaissance to reveal in advance the enemy’s plans and prevent their implementation.” He also “paid special attention to organization of all-round support of the troops”.
Late in the evening of June 23, the head of the Wagner PMC announced about the attack of Russian troops on the mercenaries’ camp. In response, his group moved to Rostov-on-Don, where the PMC captured the headquarters of the Southern Military District of Russia. The next day, several columns of mercenaries set out on a march to Moscow.
Among other things, Prigozhin demanded the dismissal of Defense Minister Shoigu, whom he accused of military defeats in Ukraine. The Kremlin considered his demands “vague and strange”, sources close to the presidential administration told “Meduza”.
When it became clear that an agreement “more or less peacefully” with Prigozhin was not possible, President Vladimir Putin made a television address in which he accused the head of the PMC (without mentioning his last name) of “treason” and “stabbing him in the back.
In the middle of the day, when the group of mercenaries reached the Voronezh region, Prigozhin realized that he did not have broad support of the military, sources say. According to them, he tried to contact Putin himself, but the president “did not want to talk to him”.
In the evening, the Kremlin saw Prigozhin’s changed mood and decided not to go for a “bloody clash”. Head of the Presidential Administration Anton Vaino, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Boris Gryzlov, and President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko went to negotiate with him.
The parties reached an agreement under which the Wagner PMC will stop marching on Moscow and go to Belarus in exchange for the closure of criminal cases against Prigozhin. The parties will still “discuss” the details of the agreement and Prigozhin’s new position, but “he will not have the former influence and resources”, say the sources in the Kremlin. “He has been pushed out of Russia. The president does not forgive such things”, one of the sources said.