On Saturday, the leader of the Wagner paramilitary force dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s charge of “treason.”
“In terms of betrayal of the motherland, the president (Putin) was gravely mistaken.” We are patriots for our country. “We fought and are fighting, all the fighters of PMC Wagner,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said in an audio message on Telegram.
Prigozhin went on to say that they will not cooperate because they do not want the country to “live on in corruption, deceit, and bureaucracy.”
“When we were fighting in Africa, we were told that we needed Africa… We went to fight when we were told we were at war with Ukraine. But it turned out that the ammo, guns, and all the money that was placed on them were also stolen, and officials are preserving them for themselves, just in case someone goes to Moscow today,” he stated.
He later accused the Russian military of attacking civilians in densely populated regions because “they can’t hit (the target) and they hit anywhere.”
“Therefore, we are patriots, and those who oppose us today have gathered around the scum,” he added.
In a nationwide address on Saturday, Putin accused Prigozhin of treason when paramilitary men crossed the border from Russian-controlled portions of Ukraine into Russia, including the city of Rostov-on-Don.
Prigozhin has often accused Russia of failing to deliver enough guns to the paramilitary force fighting with the Russian army in Ukraine.