Wagner group chief vows to topple Moscow leadership; Russia orders arrest

The head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner today threatened to destroy Russia's military leadership. Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian private military company Wagner's chief while accusing the Russian military of attacking his forces said that his fighters have crossed the border into Russia from Ukraine. He said in an audio message that he and his men would punish anyone who stood in their way. He also added that his criticism of the military leadership was not a coup.

Meanwhile, Russia has accused the head of the Wagner of armed mutiny and ordered his arrest. While Russian authorities have tightened security in several regions after the Wagner group chief vowed to topple the Moscow leadership. Russia's FSB security service has opened a criminal case against Prigozhin and has called on the Wagner private military company forces to ignore his orders and arrest him.

As per reports, President Vladimir Putin is getting round-the-clock updates from security officials on their efforts to counter the attempt at an armed mutiny. This showdown marks the most dramatic escalation in a long-running feud between the mercenary leader and Russia's defence establishment. This has spiralled into what is said to be the biggest challenge to Putin's authority since he sent troops into Ukraine 16 months ago.

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