Recapping the Revolt in Russia, Through the Words of four Presidents and a Mutinous Warlord

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Civil battle. An evil that should be stopped. Fratricide. A malicious program about to be squashed.

The dramatic weekend rebel by means of a mercenary warlord in Russia that challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin was once punctuated by means of dramatic language from the important thing protagonists — and a few lengthy silences — as the arena held its collective breath on the greatest problem to Putin’s rule of greater than twenty years.

Mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin incited a rebel towards Russia’s army leaders and despatched his troops towards Moscow however aborted his mutiny when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered an settlement that incorporated exile for the warlord in Belarus. Regardless that short-lived, the rise up rattled Russian energy circles, tarnished Putin’s air of mystery of entire keep an eye on and gave Ukrainians hope that Russian infighting may just lend a hand them.

Many questions stay unanswered about how Prigozhin controlled to get 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Moscow with little resistance. However numerous phrases went from side to side. Here’s a have a look at the previous a number of days with a focal point on feedback by means of key figures — Prigozhin, Putin and Lukashenko — in addition to by means of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. President Joe Biden.


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Prigozhin were hurling expletive-laced insults at Russia’s army brass for months earlier than escalating his disagreement on Friday night. In a vital problem to the Kremlin, he argued that Russia’s mentioned causes for invading Ukraine — a danger from NATO and neo-Nazis — have been lies.

“The evil embodied by means of the rustic’s army management should be stopped,” the 62-year-old shouted in a recorded commentary launched Friday. He mentioned his forces weren’t in the hunt for to problem Putin and different executive constructions, however that: “Justice within the military might be restored, after which justice might be restored in all of Russia.”

His troops have performed battle atrocities in Ukraine, Syria and Africa, and Prigozhin does not oppose the battle in Ukraine. He needs it prosecuted extra successfully. His forces, boosted by means of tens of 1000’s of convicted felons conscripted from prisons, were one of the most efficient within the 16-month battle.

For months, he accused the army brass of ravenous his forces of ammunition. A video in May confirmed him status in entrance of the bloodied our bodies of his slain troops yelling obscenities at Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu and the executive of the Basic Team of workers Gen. Valery Gerasimov, calling them vulnerable and incompetent and blaming them for the carnage.

“They got here right here as volunteers they usually died to help you front room to your mahogany workplaces,” Prigozhin shouted. “You’re sitting to your pricey golf equipment, your kids are playing excellent residing and filming movies on YouTube. Those that don’t give us ammunition might be eaten alive in hell!”

Prigozhin, who mentioned he had 25,000 troops to march against Moscow with him, vowed that his troops would punish Shoigu and prompt the military to not be offering resistance: “This isn’t an army coup, however a march of justice.”


As Prigozhin’s forces arrange camp in Rostov-on-Don, Putin made a televised deal with to the country Saturday morning calling the rebellion “a stab within the again” and vowing harsh punishments for its organizers.

With out bringing up Prigozhin by means of title, Putin denounced “anarchy and fratricide.” He when compared the movements of the rebels with the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that resulted in civil battle and the cave in of imperial Russia.

The truth that he by no means discussed Prigozhin by means of title, simply as he by no means mentions the title of imprisoned opposition chief Alexei Navalny, is itself significant, argues Konstantin Sonin, a Russian professor of political financial system on the College of Chicago. “It signifies that he is taking the placement extraordinarily critically and he’s rattled within,” Sonin mentioned.

Prigozhin to begin with mentioned his combatants would now not give up, as “we are not looking for the rustic to continue to exist in corruption, deceit and forms.”

“In regards to the betrayal of the motherland, the president was once deeply wrong. We’re patriots of our hometown,” he mentioned.

The Russian army was once fortifying the defenses round Moscow, and Lukashenko advised Prigozhin he was once about to get “squashed like a bug,” he later recalled.

Through the night, Lukashenko had brokered a deal promising Prigozhin immunity from prosecution despite the fact that his forces had shot down Russian helicopters and an army communications aircraft, killing a few dozen airmen. It was once a exceptional consequence for the reason that many other Russians were imprisoned for the smallest of antiwar gestures.

Zelenskyy mentioned Moscow was once struggling “full-scale weak spot” and that Kyiv was once protective Europe from “the unfold of Russian evil and chaos.”

Prigozhin ended Saturday with crowds cheering him and his Wagner troops, they usually started their retreat.


After an afternoon of such drama, the arena on Sunday awaited information about Prigozhin’s whereabouts and destiny. In Moscow, lifestyles was once returning to customary. Folks packed cafes and there was once little signal of the “counterterrorist regime” of restrictions on motion and enhanced safety declared the day earlier than. Anchors on state-controlled tv stations forged the deal finishing the disaster as a display of Putin’s knowledge and aired photos of Wagner troops taking flight.

Prigozhin went utterly silent. When The Related Press wrote to his press workplace, it were given a answer announcing: “He says hello to everybody and can solution the questions when he will get an ordinary connection.” Many questions persisted to swirl, together with if Prigozhin could be taking a bigger contingent of Wagner combatants with him to Belarus — and whether or not he himself would move there.

In the meantime, Biden spoke to Zelenskyy and “reaffirmed unwavering U.S. make stronger,” the White Area mentioned.

Zelenskyy mentioned he advised Biden that the aborted rebel in Russia had “uncovered the weak spot of Putin’s regime.”


After his day of silence, Prigozhin issued an 11-minute audio statement on Monday by which he denied seeking to assault the Russian state and mentioned he acted based on a perilous assault on his drive. “We began our march on account of an injustice,” he mentioned.

Putin, in his first public feedback because the rebel, mentioned “Russia’s enemies” had was hoping the mutiny would achieve dividing and weakening Russia, “however they miscalculated.” He known the enemies as “the neo-Nazis in Kyiv, their Western consumers and different nationwide traitors.”

In the meantime, Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov mentioned the particular products and services have been investigating whether or not Western intelligence products and services have been concerned.

Early within the battle, President Biden went off-script right through a discuss with to Warsaw and mentioned of Putin: “For God’s sake, this guy can not stay in energy.” However confronted with what appeared to many like a imaginable coup, Biden become decidedly cautious.

Biden denied any involvement by means of the U.S. or NATO within the rebel led by means of Prigozhin, who additionally who ran the Web Analysis Company, which arranged an internet interference operation right through the 2016 U.S. election that introduced Donald Trump to energy.

“We made transparent that we weren’t concerned. We had not anything to do with it,” Biden mentioned. “This was once a part of a fight throughout the Russian gadget.”


A non-public jet believed to belong to Prigozhin flew from Rostov to an air base southwest of the Belarusian capital of Minsk, in keeping with information from FlightRadar24. Belarusian President Lukashenko showed that Prigozhin had arrived in Belarus, and mentioned the warlord and a few of his troops have been welcome to stick “for a while” at their very own expense.

In the meantime, Moscow mentioned arrangements have been underway for Wagner’s troops preventing in Ukraine, handy over their heavy guns to Russia’s army.

Russian government additionally mentioned they closed a legal investigation into the rebellion and have been urgent no armed rebel price towards Prigozhin or his fans. Nonetheless, Putin gave the impression to set the degree for monetary wrongdoing fees towards an affiliated group Prigozhin owns — or no less than forged him in a adverse mild.

Putin additionally sought to project stability and authority. In a Kremlin rite, the president walked down the red-carpeted stairs of the fifteenth century white-stone Palace of Sides to deal with squaddies and legislation enforcement officials, thanking them for his or her movements to avert the rebel.

Lukashenko, who has dominated Belarus with an iron hand for 29 years whilst depending on Russian subsidies and make stronger, made transparent he noticed the occasions as an existential danger to his personal state, which has develop into a vassal of varieties to Russia.

“If Russia collapses,” he mentioned, “all of us will perish beneath the particles.”

Related Press journalist Dasha Litvinova contributed from Tallinn, Estonia.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This subject matter will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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