MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday that the short rebellion by fighters of the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group did not affect the country’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, referring to Moscow’s war against Kiev.
In his first comment on the rebellion that occurred on the 24th of last month, Shoigu said that the aim of the rebellion was to undermine Russia’s stability, but it failed because of the loyalty of the army.
The dismissal of Shoigu was one of the most important demands of the founder and president of the Wagner Company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in order to retreat from the armed rebellion that he led, during which the company’s fighters took control of the city of Rostov, southwestern Russia, which hosts the headquarters of the Russian army’s administration for the war on Ukraine, and is one of the largest Russian cities.
After controlling Rostov, Prigozhin sent a military convoy to Moscow, in an attempt to settle scores with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and with Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, but Wagner’s commander then announced the withdrawal of his fighters to their camps “to avoid Russian bloodshed”, based on the mediation of the President of Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko.
Shoigu, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, remained silent during the Wagner rebellion and the days that followed, and the Russian Defense Minister appeared two days after the armed rebellion speaking to the officers, and on the same day (Monday, June 26) he participated in a meeting that Putin held with leaders The army and security services regarding what happened on the 24th of last month.