Vladimir Putin Wiki – Vladimir Putin Biography
Vladimir Putin presidential plane departed Moscow early Saturday, fueling speculation that he had fled the Russian capital as the Wagner Group’s mercenary forces advanced. The president’s aircraft was spotted on flight radar flying northwest from Moscow to the St Petersburg area — but then disappeared from the system near the city of Tver, the BBC reported, where Putin owns a large rural retreat. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that his boss had turned tail amid the crisis, telling news agency TASS that he was “working in the Kremlin.”But Igor Artamonov, the governor of the Russian region of Lipetsk just south of Moscow, confirmed that a military column carrying Wagner Group men and materiel was on the move through the village of Krasnoye, about 250 miles from the capital, and heading north, according to CNN .
Meanwhile Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said his forces are coming to help Russia put down the mutiny by the private Wagner Group, which has taken control of one Russian city and gained a foothold in another, creating the biggest threat to Putin’s presidency in his long career. It was a clash of Russian titans, as Wagner head and one-time Putin-ally Yevgeny Prigozhin’s hardened fighters from his private militia seized control of Rostov-on-Don, a city of nearly a million people on the Ukraine border that serves as the logistical hub for Russia’s entire invasion force, and were moving rapidly north through western Russia. Previously, Wagner forces had moved through Voronezh, about 385 miles from Moscow, according to multiple reports. Scenes that could have been out of a video game erupted as Russian military helicopters took aim at a convoy of rebel mercenaries moving through Voronezh.The Wagner forces included troop carriers and at least one tank on a flatbed truck.
Vladimir Putin is 70 years old.
Wagner gets closer to Moscow as Putin threatens to put an end to the “rebellion”
In Moscow, there was an increased security presence on the streets with reports of sandbags blocking key arteries. Red Square was blocked off by metal barriers. Videos on Twitter showed increasing violence, such as a strike on what appeared to be an insurgent convoy heading for Moscow on the M-4 highway. Putin compared Prigozhin’s show of force to the Bolshevik revolution and Russia’s civil war that began a little over 100 years ago. Excessive ambitions and vested interests have led to treason,” Putin said in a televised address, comparing the insurrection at a time of war abroad to Russia’s revolution and civil war unleashed during World War One.“All those who deliberately stepped on the path of betrayal, who prepared an armed insurrection, who took the path of blackmail and terrorist methods, will suffer inevitable punishment, will answer both to the law and to our people.”Prigozhin, who has long criticized Russian military brass for how it’s handled the war, clapped right back at Putin.
“Regarding the betrayal of the Motherland, the President is deeply mistaken,” Prigozhin said in an audio message Saturday. “We’re patriots of our Motherland. We fought and we are fighting, all fighters of PMC Wagner. And no one is going to surrender to the demands of the President, FSB, or anyone else. Because we don’t want the country to live further in corruption lies, and bureaucracy.”Earlier, Prigozhin accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of ordering a rocket strike against Wagner’s war camp in Ukraine, killing 2,000 of his soldiers in a number of video and audio recordings posted online Friday. In response, Prigozhin said his forces would punish Shoigu, urging Russian forces not to resist and threatening to “destroy” anyone who tries to stop them.“Those who destroyed our lads, who destroyed the lives of many tens of thousands of Russian soldiers, will be punished. I ask that no one offer resistance…” he said in a recording of one of his notorious tirades.
“There are 25,000 of us, and we are going to figure out why chaos is happening in the country,” he said, promising to tackle any checkpoints or air forces that got in Wagner’s way. Prigozhin demanded Shoigu and the chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov come to see him in Rostov during the course of frantic messages exchanged overnight.At stake for Putin is whether he can marshal enough forces to fight off the Wagner Group at home, while so many of his troops are deployed at the front and in southern Ukraine. The crisis inside Russia comes as Kyiv has just launched its biggest counteroffensive since the war’s start in February 2022. Prigozhin, who did time in prison himself, oversees a private army of thousands of fighters recruited from Russian jails. He clashed with the Russian Army’s top lieutenants for months as he and his men have taken on some of the toughest fighting in the 16-month war.
Army Lieutenant-General Vladimir Alekseyev issued a video appeal asking Prigozhin to reconsider his actions. “Only the president has the right to appoint the top leadership of the armed forces, and you are trying to encroach on his authority,” he said. Prigozhin insists that the Russian people are on his side — not Putin’s, We reached Rostov without a single shot. We seized the headquarters building. We didn’t come up against a single person there,” he said. “There are people in the streets who unfurl Wagner flags as the guys come past,” he added, claiming that locals are offering to pay for food and drinks for his men because they want to contribute.