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Russia Falls into Chaos as PMC Wagner Marches on Moscow

Yesterday morning Yevgheny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner mercenary group, released a video detailing what he believes were the lies leading to the start of the war in Ukraine and how the Russian military leadership has since tried to conceal its utter failure. Most analysts thought it to be an eventful morning though, here we are, 24 hours later, discussing developments we never would have imagined happening. PMC Wagner has launched its bid for power within Russia, formally challenging not only the Ministry of Defense, but the Kremlin itself. Let's turn back the clock to yesterday morning and let's try to analyze what happened over the past 24 hours. For reference, the timeline will follow the 24h Moscow time.

13:00 Fri, June 23: Prigozhin denounces the MoD

In a brand new video posted on his Telegram, Yevgheny Prigozhin attacks the Russian narrative about the war in Ukraine. Before attacking the Ministry of Defence for incompetency and pinning on them the responsibility for the death of thousands of young Russians, Prigozhin states that "we (Russia) shelled them (Ukraine), they shelled us, and this went on for eight long years - 2014 to 2022. Sometimes the amount of different shootings increased, sometimes it decreased. By February 24th there was NOTHING out of the ordinary. Now, the defense ministry attempts to fool society, tries to fool the President and tell the story of a crazy aggression from the Ukrainian side... as they were going to attack us with the whole NATO block". This was indeed significant as it smashed the Kremlin propagandists' favourite lie: that Ukraine shelled the population of Donetsk and Lugansk and was planning a final genocide of the Russian population in the Donbass. And while this was known to be fake, hearing it from a leader of the Russian forces, someone who has access to top secret information and battle plans was important.

21:00 Fri, June 23: Prigozhin releases video of alleged MoD strike against Wagner

On his Telegram channel, the leader of the PMC posts a video where a Wagner mercenary is seen running in a forest setting, at a Wagner base camp in occupied Ukraine, across bodies and fires. Prigozhin claims the MoD had struck their base camp with missiles in order to stop the truth and force the group into submission. Prigozhin vows that a strong response will follow.

21:30 Fri, June 23: Terrorist Igor Strelkov (Girkin) claims Russia is on the verge of a military coup

On his Telegram, terrorist Igor Strelkov, also known as Girkin, the man who directed the false flag operations in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 and downed a Malaysian Airlines commercial flight that same year, puts in his two cents about the confrontation Wagner vs. MoD: "Russia is on the verge of an attempted military coup. Not sure who will initiate it".

21:35 Fri, June 23: RF-MoD releases a statement denying they ever targeted Wagner in Donbass.

The statement reads as follows: All messages and video footage distributed on social networks on behalf of Yevgheny Prigozhin about the alleged “strike by the RF Ministry of Defense on the rear camps of PMC Wagner” do not correspond to reality and are an informational provocation. The armed forces of the Russian Federation continue to carry out combat missions on the line of contact with the armed forces of Ukraine in the area of ​​the special military operation."

21:40 Fri, June 23: Wagner PMC declares war on the Ministry of Defense

Soon after the Defence Ministry denies the attack ever happened, Prigozhin declares war on Russia's "corrupted, evil military leadership". PMC Wagner promises to bring Shoygu, Gerasimov to justice: "those who have killed our boys, who have killed tens of thousands of Russian soldiers will be punished. I ask everyone to not resist our march for justice. Justice within the Army will be restored and so will in Russia. There's 25,000 of us, join the march for justice."

22:40 Fri, June 23: Russian FSB opens legal proceedings against Yevgheny Prigozhin under the charges of "military rebellion"

22:50 Fri, June 23: Wagner had been planning the military uprising at least 24 hours in advance

Verstka reports that over the past 24 hours Wagner employees had been calling their relatives to say goodbye, suggesting they may have had advance notice of today's dramatic events with Yevgheny Prigozhin.

23:30 Fri, June 23: Russian TV hacked showing Prigozhin's address

00:05 Sat, June 24: Wagner enters Russia from DNR

Wagner forces stationing in occupied Donetsk, formerly assigned to the Bakhmut theater, join a 50km long military column and cross from the Novoshakhtinskaya border checkpoint into Russia. Direction: Rostov-on-Don

00:35 Sat, June 24: Belarussian presidential jet takes off from Minsk at 00:01, still unclear whether Lukashenko has left the country

00:38 Sat, June 24: Commander Sergej Surovikin urges Wagner to stop

Sergej Surovikin put out a video urging Wagner to oppose the coup attempt. "We have been down a difficult road together. We are of one blood". He holds a rifle on his lap as he records.

00:40 Sat, June 24: Wagner threatens generals, military who opposes them

A Wagner affiliated channel declares: "All the generals who, with trembling hands, appeal to Wagner to stop, have actually signed their own death sentence. There will be a tribunal. Surovikin will answer for the surrender of Kherson. We are on our way to Moscow and anyone who entered our centres will answer for it."

00:50 Sat, June 24: Wagner approaches Rostov for the north-east direction

Reports of increased traffic and military vehicles get louder before 1am as the Wagner column approaches the suburb of Rassvet

00:55 Sat, June 24: Lt. General Alekseev appeals to Wagner to "stop the madness"

Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General Alekseev record a video appealing to Wagner. He claims to respect PMCs and that Russia is now in a difficult situation and will lose a lot because of Wagner's actions.

01:00 Sat, June 24: Wagner column splits.

More than 400 vehicles leave for Millerovo Airport and march to Moscow as the rest enters Rostov's suburbs. Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard) is deployed in Rostov.

01:05 Sat, June 24: Prigozhin calls for Rosgvardia to join him

"We appeal to the National Guard with an offer that is better not refused. Obeying criminal orders and attempting to interfere with the planned campaign of justice will end badly for those who have made there wrong choice"

01:10 Sat, June 24: Wagner claims it's too late for Shoygu to resign. "He won't get away"

07:00 Sat, June 24: Wagner enters Rostov-on-Don

In the early lights of the Russian morning, Wagner enters Rostov from the east, no resistance is encountered. Police and Rosgvardia stand down and let the column through

08:00 Sat, June 24: Wagner troops surround the Southern Military Command

Videos from Rostov residents show tanks standing in the main square of Rostov, a city of over 1.1 min inhabitants without firing a single shot. The Southern Military Command Office is surrounded and captured by Wagnerites. Prigozhin humiliates the local military officers

10:00 Sat, June 24: the entire 22nd Special Forces Brigade joins Wagner

10:45 Sat, June 24: Wagner claims Russia "will soon have a new President. Putin made a mistake".

11:00 Sat, June 24: Wagner enters Voronezh, convoy keeps marching towards Moscow

Since lunchtime, the PMC Wagner has continued its relentless march towards Moscow, reaching Lipetsk Oblast and bordering the region of Moscow. The government has ordered infrastructure to be disconnected in order to slow down or stop the military column. This happens amid claims of negotiations between Belarussian dictator Lukashenko, the Russian state, and Yevgheny Prigozhin. It seems that the convoy may stop temporarily in order to avoid the bloodshed but we'll have wait and see whether this is true or simply a smokescreen for further operations.


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