The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has reportedly fled the capital, Moscow, as rebels of the Wagner mercenary group advances.
Recall Putin had deemed the mercenaries, who had been in state employ responsible for mutiny and rebellion.
Putin’s official plane took off from the capital to St. Petersburg even as mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin led his troops out of Ukraine and into a key city south of Moscow, marking the biggest threat to Putin’s leadership in over two decades in power.
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The Kremlin has however denied that the president has fled.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has chided the Russians, claiming that they have been exposed.
The revolt comes after Prigozhin accused the Russian military of attacking his Wagner military forces, vowing to retaliate against the Kremlin. In a speech to supporters on Friday, Putin called the uprising a “betrayal” and “treason.”
“All those who prepared the rebellion will suffer inevitable punishment,” Putin said. “The armed forces and other government agencies have received the necessary orders.”
“Regarding the betrayal of the motherland, the president was deeply mistaken,” he said in an audio message on his Telegram channel. “We are patriots of our homeland.”
Watch video below
P U T I N On The Unfolding Situation in Rostov pic.twitter.com/a2tIdj8jir
— J. C. Okechukwu (@jcokechukwu) June 24, 2023
The civil war has been raging since early yesterday Moscow time, we have seen helicopters being shot out of the sky. Key strategic choke point taken by Wagner group. This is not a good look for Putin, the global political implications this will have on the world will be… pic.twitter.com/vMju0qvhaL
— Brian Allen (@allenanalysis) June 24, 2023
See photos of Putin’s plane leaving below