RT has summed up the Russian president’s most significant statements regarding the short-lived rebellion by Evgeny Prigozhin’s PMC
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given several speeches describing his attitude to last week’s mutiny by the Wagner private military company led by Evgeny Prigozhin.
On Friday evening, Prigozhin directed his forces to march towards large Russian cities with the stated goal of removing several generals whom he accused of treason. The uprising was aborted the following day after Belarus mediated a deal with Moscow.
Prigozhin is a traitor Putin unequivocally condemned Prigozhin’s actions, describing them as “treason” motivated by “inflated ambition and personal interests.” Speaking on Saturday before Prigozhin called off the rebellion, Putin said the mutiny came as Russians are “fighting for the lives and security of our people, for our sovereignty and independence” against the entire Western bloc. The uprising was “in essence a betrayal of our people, of the brothers in arms that are fighting on the front line. It is a stab in the back of our nation and our people,” Putin declared.
Russia avoided civil war Putin compared the situation to what Russia had faced in 1917, when two revolutions happened months apart amid World War I. Victory in that conflict had been “stolen” from the Russian people, the president claimed. “Intrigues, quarrels, political machinations behind the back of the army and the people led to a great disaster, the destruction of the army and the dissolution of the state, the loss of a large swath of its territory. Ultimately, to the tragedy of the civil war,” Putin said in the same speech on Saturday morning. In an address to the nation on Monday, Putin said the country’s foreign enemies had hoped Russian society would “be split asunder and drown in a bloody feud.” On Tuesday, Putin thanked the Russian military and security personnel involved in the response to the crisis for preventing a new civil war. Wagner troops were deceived Putin described Wagner troops as victims of Prigozhin’s deception, rather than his accomplices. They were heroes because of the sacrifices they made in the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the president added. “An overwhelming majority of the fighters and commanders of the Wagner Group are patriots of Russia too, who are loyal to their people and the country,” Putin stated in his speech on Monday. He said he had personally ordered “steps to avoid major bloodshed” and had given the insurrectionists time to reconsider their actions, which they did. Wagner troops “stopped at the last line,” Putin stated. Military pilots killed during insurrection While Prigozhin’s mutiny did not escalate into widespread bloodshed, his troops did kill several Russian military pilots. They died “confronting the mutineers,” Putin said on Tuesday. “They didn’t falter and carried out their orders and military duty with honor,” the Russian president declared as he announced a minute of silence to commemorate the fallen officers. Russia reacted by showing unity The Russian people reacted to the crisis by showing unity, Putin assessed in the same speech on Tuesday. Ultimately, this consolidation “played the decisive role” in the resolution of the crisis, he said.
During Tuesday’s event at the Kremlin, Putin specifically thanked Russian service members for their response.
“In this difficult situation, you acted precisely, cohesively, proved by deed your loyalty to the people of Russia and the military oath, showed responsibility for the fate of your Motherland and its future,” Putin said as he praised service personnel.
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