SVE NEWS & FRANCE24.COM Sharing Series — Putin says Wagner mutineers can join Russian army or ‘go to Belarus’

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation about Wagner’s aborted rebellion on Monday, thanking soldiers and mercenaries for avoiding bloodshed and stating that Wagner mutineers could either join the army or “go to Belarus”. Earlier, the mercenary group’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin defended his actions in an audio statement, claiming he did not aim to overthrow the leadership of Russia but to “avoid the destruction of Wagner”.Follow our blog to see how the day’s events unfolded. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow on June 26, 2023. Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in Moscow on June 26, 2023. © Gavriil Grigorov, AFP

05:20am: Russia conducts tactical fighter jet drills over Baltic Sea

Russia’s defence ministry said early on Tuesday that it was conducting tactical fighter jet exercises over the Baltic Sea with the main goal of testing readiness to perform combat and special tasks operations.

“The crews of the Su-27 (fighter jets) of the Baltic Fleet fired from airborne weapons at cruise missiles and mock enemy aircraft,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

“The main goal of the exercise is to test the readiness of the flight crew to perform combat and special tasks as intended.”

The ministry said that in addition to improving skills, the fighter jets crews are on “round-the-clock combat duty” guarding the air space of Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.

05:00am: Senior Russian lawmaker calls for professional army of seven million

A senior Russian lawmaker who has been involved in a number of negotiations related to Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine called late on Monday for a professional army seven-million strong to ensure that no mercenary groups are needed for the country’s security.

Russia has been shaken by the weekend’s failed mutiny by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenary troops who briefly took control of a military command steering Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine, then started a march on Moscow before aborting it.

Lawmaker Leonid Slutsky, who early in the 16-month war took part in peace negotiations with Ukraine, said that Russia needs a contract army of at least seven million military and civilian personnel, on top of the current conscript army.

“The country does not need any PMCs (private military companies) and their likes,” Slutsky, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party, said on the Telegram messaging app. “There are problems in the regular army, but PMCs cannot solve them.”

12:30am: Putin confirms Russian pilots killed during aborted mutiny

President Vladimir Putin on Monday paid tribute to pilots who were killed during the failed weekend mutiny, confirming earlier reports by military bloggers that several planes were shot down by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner militia.

Wagner fighters on Saturday took control of the southern city of Rostov-on-Don and its military command centre steering the Ukraine campaign, then driving an armed convoy within 200 km (125 miles) of Moscow before aborting their insurrection.

“The courage and self-sacrifice of the fallen heroes-pilots saved Russia from tragic devastating consequences,” Putin said in his first public address about the mutiny since the weekend events.

There has been no official information about how many pilots died or how many aircraft were shot down.

10:35pm: Putin thanks top security officials for work during Wagner mutiny

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday thanked his security officials for their work during an armed rebellion in a meeting that included Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu — a main target of the mutiny.

“I gathered you to thank you for the work that was done,” Putin told the officials after a revolt by Wagner mercenaries that aimed to bring down Moscow’s top brass.

It was the first time Shoigu was seen in public since the rebellion, while Moscow’s top general Valery Gerasimov — who Wagner fighters also wanted to unseat — was not seen in footage of the meeting released by the Kremlin.

10:12pm: Putin, UAE leader discuss mutiny attempt in Russia

The leaders of Russia and the United Arab Emirates held a phone call, the Kremlin has said.

The Russian presidency said Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan was interested in hearing an assessment of the situation in Russia in connection with the Wagner group mutiny on June 24.

“Having received comprehensive information, the Emirati leader declared full support for the actions of the Russian leadership,” the Kremlin said.

10:05pm: Putin address ‘in total contradiction’ with Wagner chief’s remarks

President Vladimir Putin’s first public comments since the aborted rebellion this weekend stand in stark contrast with the remarks made by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin a short while ago.

FRANCE 24’s foreign affairs editor Philip Turle has the details.

9:40pm: Putin addresses nation after aborted Wagner rebellion

Russian President Vladimir Putin has addressed the nation in a video message on state TV, thanking Russians for their “unity” after Wagner’s armed rebellion over the weekend was aborted less than 24 hours after it began.

In his first appearance since the rebellion ended, Putin also thanked most of the Wagner mercenaries for not letting the situation deteriorate into “bloodshed”. He said all necessary measures had been taken to protect the country and the people from the rebellion.

“From the start of the events, on my orders steps were taken to avoid large-scale bloodshed,” Putin said in the televised address, thanking Russians for their “endurance and unity, and patriotism”.

“It was precisely this fratricide that Russia’s enemies wanted: both the neo-Nazis in Kyiv and their Western patrons, and all sorts of national traitors. They wanted Russian soldiers to kill each other,” he said.

9:10pm: Belarus leader to make address ‘very soon’

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko will make an statement later Monday, a Telegram channel close to him said as his Russian ally Vladimir Putin was also due to address his nation.

Lukashenko will “answer everything, very soon,” Pul Pervogo, a Telegram channel close to the Belarusian presidency, announced. The announcement came two days after Lukashenko brokered a deal ending an armed mutiny in Russia.

8:45pm: US says Russia shows Africa how Wagner brings ‘death and destruction’

The Wagner Group‘s bloody confrontation with the Russian state highlights the risks posed by the mercenaries to African states that partner with them, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller has told reporters.

Washington reiterates “the message that we have given to these countries publicly and privately in the past, which is that any time Wagner enters the country, death and destruction follow,” Miller said.

In the video below, Raphael Parens of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Niagale Bagayoko, chair of the African Security Sector Network, share their analysis on the implications for Wagner’s operations in Africa.

Partidarios del desfile del capitán Ibrahim Traore ondean una bandera rusa en las calles de Ouagadougú, Burkina Faso, 2 de octubre de 2022.
Partidarios del desfile del capitán Ibrahim Traore ondean una bandera rusa en las calles de Ouagadougú, Burkina Faso, 2 de octubre de 2022. © France24

8:35pm: Putin’s former ‘puppet master’ urges end to mercenary groups like Wagner

President Vladimir Putin‘s former chief strategist has urged an end to mercenary groups in Russia after Yevgeny Prigozhin‘s aborted mutiny, cautioning that they interfered with the chain of command.

Vladislav Surkov, once known as the Kremlin’s ‘puppet master’ by friends and foes alike, said “private military companies” were an idea imported from the US, created to engage in proxy wars.

“How can a military unit be private in our understanding? This is completely inconsistent with Russian political, managerial and military culture,” Surkov, who left the Kremlin in 2020, said in an interview published by his associate Alexei Chesnakov.

Such groups, Surkov said, risked turning Russia into “some kind of Eurasian tribal zone” while dividing the command of the armed forces even as they fight in Ukraine.

7:32pm: Russia says it intercepted two British fighter jets over Black Sea

Russia’s defence ministry said Monday it had sent two fighter jets to intercept two British aircraft it said were approaching its border above the Black Sea.

“As the Russian fighter jets approached, the foreign warplanes turned around and distanced themselves from the Russian border,” the ministry said in a statement.

6:36pm: Biden says ‘too early’ to define fallout from Russia turmoil

US President Joe Biden said Monday it was “too early” to draw definitive conclusions after the Wagner mercenary group’s aborted march on Moscow, while vowing the West “had nothing to do” with the revolt.

“I also convened our key allies on a Zoom call,” Biden told reporters. “They agreed that we had to make sure we gave (Russian President Vladimir) Putin no excuse… to blame this on the West and to blame this on NATO.”

6:23pm: New $500 million US military aid package to Ukraine to include vehicles, munitions

The United States plans to announce as soon as Tuesday a new military aid package for Ukraine worth up to $500 million, showing that the US resolve to help Ukraine fight Russia was undeterred by the attempted mutiny over the weekend amongst Russian fighters.

The military aid package will include ground vehicles as Ukraine presses its counteroffensive, two US officials said. It is expected to include 30 Bradley fighting vehicles and 25 Stryker armored personnel carriers, one of the sources said.

As a part of the aid package, Ukraine will receive munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), anti-tank weapons including Javelins and munitions for Patriot and Stinger anti-aircraft systems, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

5:27pm: Belarus president offered ways for Wagner to keep working, says Prigozhin

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has proposed ways in which Russia’s Wagner mercenary group could continue to operate, the company’s leader said Monday after calling off a weekend rebellion.

“Lukashenko held out his hand and offered to find solutions for the continuation of the work of the Wagner private military company in a legal jurisdiction,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said in the 11-minute audio message released on the Telegram messaging app.

© France24

5:10pm: Prigozhin breaks silence, says aborted mutiny sought to save Wagner

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has spoken for the first time since calling off his force’s rebellion at the weekend, stating that the march on Moscow was aimed at saving his embattled mercenary outfit and not at ousting the Russian authorities.

“We went to demonstrate our protest and not to overthrow power in the country,” Prigozhin said in an 11-minute audio message released on the Telegram messaging app.

He said the march had exposed “serious security problems in the country”, adding that he called off the mutiny to “avoid spilling Russian blood”.

4:49pm: Zelensky visits Ukraine’s frontline Donetsk region

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday visited the frontline Donetsk region in the east of his country, which is partly occupied by Russian forces.

According to a statement from his office, Zelensky visited military units involved in heavy fighting around the city of Bakhmut, and met soldiers relaxing at a highway gas station.

4:40pm: Botched mutiny raises questions about Wagner’s overseas operations

Russian mercenary group Wagner has been seen for years as an armed extension of Moscow’s influence in Syria and Africa but these overseas operations have now been called into question by its leader’s failed revolt against the Kremlin.

After calling off his troops’ advance toward Moscow, Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin is expected to go into exile in Belarus.

But now questions hover over the future of the group’s operations in more far-flung places, where observers say it profits greatly from exploiting natural resources and propping up regimes sceptical of, or hostile towards, the West, such as in Mali and Central African Republic.

FRANCE 24’s James Vasina has more.

4:09pm: UK says Storm Shadow missiles have had ‘significant impact’ on Ukraine war

British Defence Minister Ben Wallace said on Monday that Storm Shadow long-range missiles supplied by London to Kyiv have had a significant impact on the battlefield in the Russia-Ukraine war.

“The Storm Shadow missile has had a significant impact on the battlefield”, Wallace told lawmakers. “It has had an effect on the Russian army.”

4:06pm: Canada’s Trudeau warns against speculation about Russia turmoil

The aborted mutiny in Russia is an internal issue for Moscow to work through and too much speculation over it could prove counterproductive, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned.

“Everyone has a lot of questions about what this actually means, but we don’t yet have a lot of answers and too much speculation right now I think could probably be extremely counterproductive,” Trudeau told reporters in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland, after meeting leaders of Nordic countries.

Senior Russian officials rallied around President Vladimir Putin on Monday, after the aborted mutiny by mercenaries that appeared to pose the greatest threat to his grip on power of his 23-year rule.

3:15pm: Ukrainian troops try to capitalise on chaos in Russia

This past weekend’s developments in Russia occurred as Ukraine’s counteroffensive was underway. Although Ukrainian officials say a new Russian-held settlement has been recaptured this Monday, President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted that the advance has been slower than hoped.

He has also echoed comments by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who said that the aborted mutiny by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group showed the weakness of Russia’s leadership.

Ukraine is continuing to ask its Western counterparts for more sophisticated weapons, including long-range missiles, amid fears that Russia is planning to blow up all or part of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

FRANCE 24’s Kyiv correspondent Gulliver Cragg tells us more.

© France24

2:51pm: US was not involved in Russian mutiny, Lavrov cites US envoy as saying

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that the US ambassador to Moscow “gave signals” that the United States was not involved in the Wagner armed mutiny and hoped for the safety of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, state news agency TASS reported.

Lavrov also quoted the US envoy as saying Saturday’s mutiny by the Wagner mercenaries was Russia’s internal affair, TASS reported.

2:50pm: NATO to hold talks on Sweden entry before July summit

NATO will hold talks on Sweden joining the alliance before its summit next month, its chief said on Monday. The talks will take place with the agreement of Turkey, which has been holding up the Nordic country’s bid.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he had spoken to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and “agreed to convene a high-level meeting in Brussels before the summit”.

“The aim is to make progress in completing Sweden’s accession to NATO.”

2:47pm: Wagner mutiny demonstrates weakness of Russian regime, says NATO’s Stoltenberg

The aborted mutiny by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group on the weekend showed the weakness of Russia’s leadership, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

“Of course, it is a demonstration of weakness,” he told reporters during a news conference on the Pabrade training grounds in Lithuania.

“It also demonstrates how difficult and dangerous it is for President (Vladimir) Putin to be reliant on mercenaries, that has actually turned against him,” he added.

“It demonstrates the fragility of the Russian regime but it is not for NATO to intervene in those issues, that’s a Russian matter.”

2:45pm: Wagner St Petersburg HQ says it’s working as normal despite failed rebellion

The main St Petersburg office of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, whose leader Yevgeny Prigozhin led an armed uprising over the weekend that rattled President Vladimir Putin’s rule, said Monday it was working in “normal mode”.

“Despite events that have taken place, the centre continues to work in normal mode in accordance to the law of the Russian Federation,” the group’s main office said in a statement.

It said Wagner has “worked for the future of Russia” and thanked its supporters.

2:27pm: Sweden announces $35 million ‘summer aid package’ for Ukraine

Sweden on Monday announced it was pledging an additional 380 million kronor ($35 million) as a “humanitarian summer [aid] package” for Ukraine.

International Development Cooperation Minister Johan Forsell told a press conference that in the wake of both the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in early June and the launch of Ukraine’s counter-offensive, “we know that there will be large humanitarian needs”.

According to the government, the package will specifically target “the most acute needs”.

Forsell said these included food and water, healthcare, mine clearing and support for NGOs.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden has pledged 1.9 billion kronor in humanitarian aid, in addition to some 17 billion kronor in military aid.

“This year Ukraine is the number-one recipient of aid,” Forsell said, adding that this was likely to remain the case for several years.

2:25pm: Russian court jails academic Golubkin for 12 years for treason

A Russian court on Monday jailed academic Valery Golubkin for 12 years after convicting him of treason.

Golubkin, a professor at a Moscow institute studying aerodynamics, was detained in 2020 on suspicion of handing over secrets to an unnamed NATO country.

A number of Russian scientists have been arrested and charged with treason in recent years on suspicion of passing sensitive material to foreigners. Critics of the Kremlin say the arrests often stem from unfounded paranoia.

1:06pm: Putin appears in first video address since aborted mutiny

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday appeared in a Kremlin video address, speaking for the first time since the aborted mutiny of a mercenary chief this weekend.

Putin addressed a youth forum dubbed the “Engineers of the Future”, where he praised companies for ensuring “the stable operation” of the country’s industry “in the face of severe external challenges”.

12:52pm: Russia summons Moldovan ambassador, state news reports

Russia on Monday summoned Moldova’s ambassador in Moscow, Russian state news agency TASS reported, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry.

It gave no immediate reason for the move, which comes amid strained ties between Moscow and Chisinau over Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, which borders Moldova.

12:28pm: Ukraine retakes southeastern village of Rivnopil, says deputy defence minister

Ukrainian forces have recaptured another formerly Russian-held settlement on the southern front between the two armies, deputy defence minister Ganna Malyar said Monday.

“Defence forces returned Rivnopil under our control. Let’s push on,” the minister posted on her Telegram account, referring to a rural community in the Donetsk region.

11:50am: Germany ready to station 4,000 troops in Lithuania

Germany on Monday said it was prepared to station 4,000 troops in Lithuania after the Baltic nation called on NATO to strengthen its eastern flank.

“Germany is ready to permanently station a robust brigade in Lithuania,” Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on a visit to Vilnius, conditioned on the “necessary infrastructure” and “compatibility with NATO plans”.

11:03am: Denmark to start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 jets

Denmark’s government said Monday that the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 jets has started.

Acting Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said that NATO-member Denmark “has taken the step of starting a training and further education effort for the Ukrainian pilots”.

“We will also consider whether we should make a concrete donation to Ukraine of the Danish F-16 fighters, and how many there should be,” he said.

Ukrainian pilots must complete six to eight months of training before a possible donation of Danish F-16 aircraft can become a reality, Lund Poulsen told Danish broadcaster DR.

“This does not mean that you cannot make a decision beforehand. But (the F-16 planes) will be in Denmark until 2024,” Lund Poulsen said.

10:52am: Wagner mutiny shows invasion was ‘strategic mistake’, says NATO chief

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Monday said the weekend rebellion by mercenary troops in Russia showed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a “mistake”.

“We are monitoring the situation in Russia. The events over the weekend are an internal Russian matter, and yet another demonstration of the big strategic mistake that President Putin made with his illegal annexation of Crimea and the war against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told reporters.

10:41am: Wagner chief still under investigation despite Kremlin deal: Russian news agencies

The head of the Wagner Group is still under investigation for trying to organise an armed rebellion, Russian news agencies reported on Monday, despite a deal to end his mutiny announced earlier by the Kremlin.

“The criminal case against (Yevgeny) Prigozhin has not been dropped,” the three main Russian news agencies quoted a source in the prosecutor’s office as saying.

Prigozhin called off his troops’ advance on Moscow late Saturday and said he would leave for Belarus to avoid facing charges.

9:39am: ‘Massive cracks’ showing in Russia’s propaganda, says German foreign minister

Recent events in Russia show “massive cracks” inside Russia’s political sphere, German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday, adding that Germany won’t get involved in what she called “internal political matters”.

“We are seeing massive cracks in the Russian propaganda”, Baerbock said before heading into an EU meeting, adding that Western allies will continue to support Ukraine in the war.

9:21am: Ukraine grain exports reach 48.4 tonnes in 2022/23 season

Ukraine’s grain exports for the 2022/23 July-June season stood at 48.4 million tonnes as of June 26, four days before the end of the marketing year, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday.

The ministry said Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia in February last year, had exported the same volume of grain as of June 29, 2022.

A major grain grower and exporter, Ukraine’s grain output dropped to about 53 million tonnes in clean weight in the 2022 calendar year from a record 86 million in 2021.

8:53am: Wagner crisis shows Ukraine war is ‘cracking Russian power’, says EU chief

Wagner’s aborted uprising shows that Moscow’s war in Ukraine is splintering Russian power, and instability in the nuclear-armed power is “not a good thing”, the EU’s top diplomat said Monday.

“What has happened during this weekend shows that the war against Ukraine is cracking Russian power and affecting its political system,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers.

8:52am: Failed Wagner uprising means ‘dramatic fall from grace’ for leader Prigozhin

The Wagner group’s failed uprising has meant “a dramatic fall from grace” for group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, says FRANCE 24’s Leela Jacinto.

Prigozhin may have hoped President Vladimir Putin would side with him against Russia’s military brass, whom Prigozhin has criticised throughout the war in Ukraine. “That didn’t happen, of course, Putin called him a traitor and now he is an exile in Belarus,” says Jacinto.

8:13am: Moscow mayor cancels anti-terror security measures imposed for Wagner ‘mutiny’

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he was cancelling a counter-terrorism regime imposed in the Russian capital during what the authorities on Saturday called an armed mutiny by the Wagner mercenary group.

Sobyanin made the announcement in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging application on Monday.

Separately, Russia’s National Anti-terrorism Committee said the situation in the country was “stable”.

7:25am: Ukraine reclaims 130 square km along southern front line, deputy defence minister says

Ukraine has reclaimed some 130 square kilometres (50 square miles) from Russian forces along the southern front line since the start of the counteroffensive, Ukraine Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said on Monday.

“The situation in the south has not undergone significant changes over the past week,” Maliar told the national broadcaster.

She added that along the eastern part of the front line, which includes the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions, about 250 combat clashes have taken place over the past week.

6:59am: Russian defence minister visits troops after Wagner mutiny

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has visited Russian troops involved in the military operation in Ukraine, the RIA news agency reported on Monday, his first TV appearance since the weekend uprising by the Wagner paramilitary group.

Shoigu, the target of fierce criticism by the mercenary group’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, went to a command post for Russian forces in Ukraine and held a meeting there with the leader of one of the units, according to images shown by the broadcaster.

During the meeting, the minister highlighted what he described as “great efficiency in the detection and destruction” of Ukraine’s weapons systems and soldiers, the ministry of defence said in a press release.

The footage shows Shoigu listening to a report being presented on the area’s military situation, studying maps and taking a helicopter ride to inspect Russian positions.

4:30am: Australia to provide $74 million assistance package to Ukraine

The Australian Government will provide a new A$110 million ($73.54 million) package to Ukraine to defend against Russia’s invasion, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Monday.

The package includes 70 military vehicles, including 28 armoured vehicles, 14 special operations vehicles, 28 medium trucks and 14 trailers.

“Australia is unwavering in our resolve to condemn and oppose Russia’s actions and to help Ukraine achieve victory,” Albanese said.

4:20am: Russia suffers legal setback in Australian embassy standoff

Russia’s bid to build a new embassy near Australia’s parliament suffered a legal blow on Monday, when the country’s highest court denied a request for temporary protection against eviction.

Australia has blocked Russia from building a new embassy in the capital Canberra – a stone’s throw from Parliament House – after intelligence agencies warned it could be used as a base to spy on lawmakers.

Russia’s embassy last week launched a last-minute injunction to temporarily hold on to the land, while dispatching a mystery diplomat to squat on the site as the legal tussle played out.

Australia’s high court ruled on Monday morning that Russia had to temporarily vacate the site until the case returns to court for more detailed legal arguments, local media reported.

The Russian embassy said it had “no comments” on the ruling.

3:04am: Wagner retreat brings ‘relief’ in Moscow

There was a sense of relief in Moscow as it was announced early Sunday that Wagner troops were stopping their advance towards the city.

As news of the uprising unfolded, Russia soldiers had taken up positions outside of Moscow and residents south of the capital had been told to stay at home and travel only if absolutely necessary.

“We were pretty scared. We started to think where could we go, and what should we take with us,” one resident told FRANCE 24.

1:15am: 17,000 Ukrainian army recruits trained by Britain and allies

More than 17,000 Ukrainian recruits have been trained by Britain and other allies over the past year to help Kyiv fight Russia’s invasion, the UK Ministry of Defence said Monday.

The recruits, from many different walks of life, all went through a “gruelling” five-week programme that the ministry said had transformed them “from civilians to soldiers”.

Britain and nine partner nations – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania and the Netherlands – opened the initiative for new volunteer recruits to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in June last year.

The UK-led training program, dubbed Operation Interflex, taught the recruits, who had little to no previous military experience, various skills including weapons handling, battlefield first aid and patrol tactics.

“The determination and resilience of the Ukrainian recruits that arrive on British soil, from all walks of life, to train to fight alongside our British and international forces, is humbling to witness,” UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.

Key developments from Sunday, June 25:


Russian paramilitary Wagner Group pulled its fighters from the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, where they had seized the military headquarters, the regional governor said on Sunday.

Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin halted his troops’ advance on Moscow late Saturday and said he would leave for Belarus to avoid facing charges.

The feud between Prigozhin and Russia’s military brass reached a crisis on Saturday when Wagner forces captured a key army headquarters in southern Russia before heading north to threaten the capital.


Issued on: Modified: 

Sources from: FRANCE24.COM

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