Alexander Khodakovsky, the Russia-backed commander of separatist forces in Ukraine, posted an ominous warning on Sunday following the end of the Wagner Group‘s mutiny, claiming that the country “will never be the same again.”
Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin on Friday declared war on the Russian Ministry of Defense after the Russian military allegedly carried out an attack on his company’s mercenary forces stationed in Ukraine, killing many. The oligarch’s forces reportedly seized control of military sites in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, before mobilizing north towards Moscow. After a day of chaos and confusion, Wagner Group forces were ordered to stand down as part of a deal brokered with help from the Belarusian government.
Despite the alleged coup fizzling out, many observers said that the incident will continue to reverberate throughout the Russian government, with some claiming that it has made Russian President Vladimir Putin appear weaker than before. In a post shared by the WarTranslated Twitter account, Khodakovsky grimly suggested that Wagner’s actions have changed Russia forever.
“Our country will never be the same again,” the post reads. “The convoy of Wagnerites was not moving on the asphalt – it moved through the hearts of people, cutting society in half. We prayed to God that the enemy would not take advantage of the situation and throw all the resources into battle – we would almost have no chance. We already have a hard time, but yesterday everything hung on a very thin thread. And those who understood what was at stake and how close we came to a defeat will never understand those who shouted glory to the Wagnerites, rejoicing that someone challenged the authorities.”
He continued: “…Millions of people yesterday experienced horror at the thought that everything they had endured over the past years would be crossed out in one day. These millions will never be able to look into the eyes of those who hooted at the sight of falling helicopters shot down yesterday without judgment.”
This is a good descriptive post by Khodakovsky. The rift that occurred in Russia after the invasion failed to achieve its main goal has formalised yesterday and the tensions between the two camps will continue.
Prigozhin, who has been posting comments and audio messages… pic.twitter.com/1qWYef2yvN
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) June 25, 2023
Newsweek reached out to foreign defense experts via email for comment.
The press service for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reported that Prigozhin accepted the terms of a deal to end the worsening conflict on Saturday and was taking steps to de-escalate his forces. As part of the deal, Wagner Group forces will reportedly receive certain security guarantees from the Russian government. Criminal charges against Prigozhin from Russia will be dropped, and the Wagner leader will also be moving to Belarus.
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