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23 Jun, 2023 21:04

FSB opens criminal case after Wagner boss calls for ‘armed rebellion’

Russia has announced an investigation into Evgeny Prigozhin
FSB opens criminal case after Wagner boss calls for ‘armed rebellion’

Evgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group private military company, is under investigation for allegedly advocating a mutiny against the government, Russia’s anti-terrorism committee said on Friday.

All of Prigozhin’s claims are “entirely unfounded,” the body said in a statement, adding that the Federal Security Service (FSB) has “opened a criminal investigation on account of calling for an armed rebellion.”

“We demand the immediate end to all illegal activity,” the anti-terrorism committee stated.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Prigozhin of spreading falsehoods over a video circulating on social media that claimed the Russian military had attacked a base of Wagner fighters.

“A large number of our fighters died. We will decide how we will respond to this atrocity. The next step is ours,” Prigozhin said in a statement commenting on the alleged attack. He then vowed to march on Moscow and hold those responsible to account, warning the military to stay out of his way.

The Defense Ministry described Prigozhin’s claims as “an informational provocation” and said the Russian military was fighting on the front lines against Ukrainian troops.

The Prosecutor General’s Office said that “this crime is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 12 to 20 years.”

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed about the situation involving Prigozhin and Wagner, and “all the necessary measures” are being taken to resolve the matter.

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