Following the reported rebellion by Wagner Group mercenaries in Russia against the government of President Vladimir Putin this Sunday, Iran, Turkey, and other countries expressed support for peace and rule of law in Russia.
The news of the Russian private army known as the Wagner Group and led by Yevgeny Prigozhin launching an alleged coup d’état attempt in Russia quickly spread across the world, a move that Russian President Vladimir Putin called “a stab in the back”.
“We will destroy anyone who stands in our way,” Prigozhin said in one of a series of angry video and audio recordings posted on social media beginning late Friday. “We are moving forward and will go until the end.”
Everything started when Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch, mercenary chief, and a former close confidant of Putin, called for an armed rebellion and threatened to rush Moscow in order to oust the minister who he accused of ordering the bombing of his war camps in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the allegations of a strike on the Wagner’s “rear camps” and labeled it as fake news
The threat, however, didn’t last for long and two days later, Prigozhin eventually agreed to halt his group’s advance on Moscow just 120 miles from the capital city. Prigozhin’s attempted coup quickly hit the headlines and many in and out of Russia discussed the aspects of the incident the whole week. It was first Putin himself who reacted to the coup and vowed Saturday to defend Russia against an armed rebellion by Prigozhin.
“All those who prepared the rebellion will suffer inevitable punishment,” Putin said. “The armed forces and other government agencies have received the necessary orders”. Prigozhin called himself a patriot and said his fighters would not surrender, as “we do not want the country to live on in corruption, deceit and bureaucracy.”
“Regarding the betrayal of the motherland, the president was deeply mistaken. We are patriots of our homeland, and this is not a military coup, but a march of justice,” he said in an audio message on his Telegram channel. The uprising, which Putin called “a stab in the back,” was in fact the biggest threat to his leadership in over two decades in power.
Russia’s allies expressed support for peace in Moscow
Amid the chaotic situation in Russia, countries such as Iran, Turkey, and others expressed their support for the Russian government and peace for the Russian people.
It was first President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey who pledged “full support” for the embattled Russian leader in a Saturday morning phone call, the Kremlin said. A statement from Erdogan’s office also confirmed the phone call and noted that the Turkish President called for a “peaceful and calm” resolution to the crisis in Russia.
Likewise, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi spoke on the phone with his Russian counterpart on Monday about the situation in Russia, with Raisi giving his support for Russia.
According to state media from both countries, he two leaders also discussed opportunities for enhancing the reciprocally advantageous bilateral cooperation with a focus on ensuring the successful implementation of the current trade, energy, and transportation accords.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani also reacted to the rebellion by Wagner Group mercenaries in Russia and told state media that the Iran “supports the rule of law in the Russian Federation.”
Meanwhile, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, a key Putin ally, also supported Putin. It was indeed Lukashenko who brokered the deal with Prigozhin to end the militia’s advance toward Moscow and enter negotiations with the Kremlin.