How mercenary revolt has gathered pace in Putin's Russia

Fighters of Wagner private mercenary group are seen atop of a tank while being deployed near the headquarters of the Southern Military District in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

Here is a timeline of events as they have unfolded over the last 24 hours.


  • Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of the private army called Wagner, releases a video stepping up his feud with Russia's military top brass and for the first time rejects President Vladimir Putin's core justifications for invading Ukraine.
  • In a series of subsequent audio recordings posted on Telegram, Prigozhin says the "evil" of Russia's military leadership "must be stopped" and his Wagner mercenary force will lead a "march for justice" against the Russian military.
  • Russia's FSB security service responds by opening a criminal case against Prigozhin, saying he has called for armed mutiny.
  • The deputy commander of Russia's Ukraine campaign, General Sergei Surovikin, urges the Wagner militia to give up their opposition to the military leadership and return to their bases.


  • Prigozhin says his men have crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia and are ready to go "all the way" against the Russian military.
  • Wagner fighters have entered the southern Russian city of Rostov, Prigozhin says in an audio recording posted on Telegram.
  • The White House says it is monitoring the situation involving Russia and the Wagner force, and will be consulting with allies and partners on developments.
  • The governor of southern Russia's Rostov region adjoining Ukraine tells residents to remain calm and stay indoors as it becomes clear that Wagner forces have taken control of the city of Rostov.
Fighters of Wagner private mercenary group are deployed near a local circus in the city of Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023.Photo: Reuters/Stringer
  • Russian's Defence Ministry issues a statement appealing to Wagner fighters to abandon Prigozhin, saying they have been "deceived and dragged into a criminal adventure".
  • A Russian security source tells Reuters Wagner fighters have taken control of all military facilities in the city of Voronezh, about 500 km (300 miles) south of Moscow.
  • Putin makes a televised address vowing to crush what he calls an armed mutiny. He accuses Prigozhin of "treason" and a "stab in the back".
  • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin ally, says his forces are ready to help put down the revolt by Prigozhin and to use harsh methods if necessary.
Fighters of Wagner private mercenary group transport a tank along M-4 highway, which links the capital Moscow with Russia's southern cities, with smoke from a burning oil depot seen in the background, near Voronezh, Russia, June 24, 2023. Photo: Reuters/Stringer
  • European governments including Britain, France, Germany and Italy issue statements saying they are closely watching developments in Russia. During the day, numerous other governments around the world issue similar statements.
  • Russian military helicopters open fire on a convoy of rebel mercenaries already more than half way towards Moscow in a lightning advance after seizing Rostov overnight.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says "Russia's weakness is obvious" and the longer Moscow keeps its troops and mercenaries in Ukraine, the more chaos it will invite back home.
  • Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service, says it is clear that Prigozhin's attempt to destabilise society and ignite a fratricidal civil war has failed, the TASS news agency reports.
  • Russian soldiers set up a machine gun position on the southwest edge of Moscow, according to photographs published by the Vedomosti newspaper. Photographs also show armed police gathering at the point where the M4 highway - which mutinous Wagner mercenaries are moving along - reaches the Russian capital.
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan tells Putin in a telephone call that he backs the Russian government's handling of the Wagner revolt, the Kremlin says in a statement. A statement issued by Turkey says Erdogan urged Putin to act "with common sense".
  • Belarus issues a statement reaffirming its alliance with Russia.
An advertising board, which promotes service in Wagner private mercenary group, is on display on the roadside in Saint Petersburg, Russia on June 24, 2023. A slogan on the board reads: "Accede to the team of victors!" Photo: Reuters/Anton Vaganov
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he has spoken with G7 foreign ministers and the European Union high representative for foreign affairs. He adds the U.S. will stay in touch with allies and partners "as the situation continues to develop".
  • Putin signs a law permitting 30-day detentions for breaking martial law in places where it has been imposed, the RIA news agency reports.
  • Wagner mercenaries have been promised an amnesty if they lay down their weapons "but they should do it fast", the TASS news agency cites lawmaker Pavel Krasheninnikov as saying.
  • Russia's Foreign Ministry issues a statement warning Western countries against using the Wagner group's mutiny "to achieve their Russophobic goals".
The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.