Deputy head of the GRU, Lieutenant General of the Army Vladimir Alekseev, following General Sergei Surovikin, recorded a video message to the Wagner PMC mercenaries. In his address, he speaks of a coup d'état and that it is difficult even to imagine a stronger blow to Russia's image.
“Whatever your intentions are, this is a stab in the back of the country and the president. This is a coup d'état,” says Alekseev. The lieutenant general also called on the fighters to change their minds and not to take the actions that they intended to take.
Earlier, The Insider wrote that ten years ago, on the eve of the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the Ministry of Defense helped Prigozhin gain serious influence. The companies of Putin's then-unknown chef began to receive huge state contracts for serving food to the army, which provided Prigozhin with sufficient funding for his own projects, such as a private military company. Together with Prigozhin, the PMC was headed by the former GRU officer, neo-Nazi Dmitry Utkin (he took the call sign "Wagner" out of love for the Third Reich).
After some time, Prigozhin began to get out of the influence of the GRU and the special service decided to create a new PMC, which was supervised by Alekseev. At the head of the new PMC, called "Redut", he put his confidant, 54-year-old Anatoly Karaziya (according to one of the sources, he is a relative of Alekseev). By January 2022, Karaziy had lured many former Wagnerites to Redoubt, which infuriated Prigozhin. In fact, this began the conflict between Prigozhin and the security forces.
Alekseev also played the most active role in orchestrating the first phase of a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, according to The Insider sources. Subordinates of Alekseev participated in sabotage activities, and the Redutovites were to play a decisive role in the first days of the invasion. According to one of the sources, these mercenaries also included a group that was supposed to kill Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv in the early days of the invasion. Alekseev himself was engaged not only in the military part, but also in the political one - he had to organize the transfer of power to new hands and negotiated this with Ukrainian politicians.
Already in March 2022, it became clear that the plan to storm Kyiv failed, then the situation began to worsen, and a few months later Prigozhin offered his services to Putin and received permission to recruit convicts.