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Revolution? 25K Russian Rebels Over Take Major Gov’t Asset Without Firing Single Shot

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An armed force of Russian mercenaries occupied a city late on Friday and appeared to engage Russian forces on Saturday, but this did not appear to halt their advance toward Moscow.

By capturing Rostov-on-Don, Yevgeny Prigozhin, commander of the Wagner Group, proclaimed the first triumph of his march against Russian military leaders.

“Why does the country support us? Because we went on a march of justice,” Prigozhin said in a message on Telegram, according to Barron’s, citing an Agence France-Press dispatch.

“We got to Rostov. Without a single shot we captured the building of the (army) HQ,” he said.

The New York Post reported that the force advancing to Moscow from the north consisted of approximately 25,000 soldiers.

Radio Liberty reports that the advancing column was fired upon when it reached Voronezh. Voronezh is roughly in the middle between Rostov-on-Don and Moscow.

According to Reuters, the column included personnel carriers and a tank transported on a flatbed vehicle.

A helicopter fired upon the mercenaries, but Reuters reported that “there were no reports of the rebels encountering significant resistance on the highway.”

Prigozhin stated that the Russian military was attempting to attack civilian targets to halt the advance of the mercenaries.

Prigozhin has referred to his insurrection as a “march for justice” intended at removing military commanders he claims have mismanaged the conflict in Ukraine and are corrupt.

According to The New York Times, as of Saturday morning Eastern time, the mercenaries were approximately 400 kilometers south of Moscow.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin said Russia is fighting for its life, according to Reuters.

“We are fighting for the lives and security of our people, for our sovereignty and independence, for the right to remain Russia, a state with a thousand-year history,” he said.

“All those who deliberately stepped on the path of betrayal, who prepared an armed insurrection, who took the path of blackmail and terrorist methods, will suffer inevitable punishment, will answer both to the law and to our people,” he said, branding the uprising as treason.

Proigozhin issued a message of defiance as his forces advanced northward.

“The president makes a deep mistake when he talks about treason. We are patriots of our motherland, we fought and are fighting for it. We don’t want the country to continue to live in corruption, deceit and bureaucracy,” he said.

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