Russian troops and National Guards soldiers were deployed to parts of Moscow on Saturday as the city braced for mercenary rebellion.
“In response to incoming information in Moscow, anti-terrorist measures aimed at strengthening security measures are being carried out. Additional control has been introduced on the roads. It is possible to limit the holding of mass events. Please be understanding of the measures taken,” said the Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin.
Earlier on Saturday, Sobyanin said armored vehicles will ply the streets of Moscow as security measures are heightened.
Russia declared an “anti-terrorist operation regime” in Moscow and the Moscow region, after the chief of the Wagner mercenary group vowed to overthrow Russia’s military leadership and claimed control of a key military headquarters in the south.
“With the aim of preventing possible terrorist acts on the territory of the city of Moscow and the Moscow region, an anti-terror operation regime has been introduced,” the country’s national anti-terrorist committee said in a statement quoted by Russian agencies.
🇷🇺 Unknown BTR-80 and Urals on the Moscow Ring Road.
UPD: This is the MO column. A traffic police car is ahead of them. pic.twitter.com/EcngHkHokz
— JK (@JK2022Z) June 24, 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the authorities would not allow a repeat of the tragedy of the civil war and would protect the state and the people from any threats, including internal treachery.
Putin warned that those on “path of treason” or armed rebellion will be “punished” after the head of the Wagner paramilitary group said his troops had taken control of military facilities in two Russian cities, plunging the country into crisis.
“Renegade actions against those fighting in the front is a stab in the back of our country,” Putin said in an address to the nation, pledging a harsh response and punishment to those who plan “an armed rebellion.”
Putin was speaking after militia chief and once close ally Yevgeny Prigozhin dramatically escalated his feud with Moscow’s security establishment over their handling of the war in Ukraine.