In today's summary:
- Mutiny of PMC Wagner: mercenaries almost reached Moscow, but Prigozhin deployed columns after negotiations with Lukashenka in agreement with Putin;
- The situation on the front line: Prigozhin's actions have not had a significant impact on the situation (at least so far);
- The losses of Russian equipment far exceeded the losses of Wagner PMCs during the day of the rebellion, the Oryx project calculated;
- The Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed 41 cruise missiles and two attack drones of the Russian Armed Forces, the Command of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported.
Mutiny of PMC Wagner
All day long, Russian media and Telegram channels followed the movement of Wagner PMC fighters, who took control of military facilities in Rostov-on-Don , the Rostov region and moved to Moscow . Explosions and shots were heard in the cities, tanks and armored personnel carriers were noticed on the streets, in Voronezh a shell flew into a residential yard. In addition, servicemen of the Russian army bombed a road bridge two kilometers from the town of Boguchar . Prigozhin himself, against whom a case was opened for organizing a military rebellion, said that he was not going to turn himself in at the request of Putin, the FSB or “anyone else.” However, on the evening of June 24, the press service of Alexander Lukashenko stated that the Belarusian leader, in agreement with Vladimir Putin, held talks with Prigozhin and concluded an agreement to start a “de-escalation” and stop the movement of “Wagnerites” in the Russian Federation:
This morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin briefed his Belarusian counterpart on the situation in southern Russia with the private military company Wagner. The heads of state agreed on joint actions.
As a follow-up to the agreements, the President of Belarus, having additionally specified the situation through his own channels, and in agreement with the President of Russia, held talks with the head of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Negotiations continued throughout the day. As a result, they came to agreements on the inadmissibility of unleashing a bloody massacre on the territory of Russia. Yevgeny Prigozhin accepted the proposal of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko to stop the movement of armed persons of the Wagner company on the territory of Russia and take further steps to de-escalate tensions.
At the moment, an absolutely profitable and acceptable option for solving the situation is on the table, with security guarantees for the Wagner PMC fighters.
As previously reported, also during today, the President of Belarus held two meetings with the power bloc of the country on this situation.
Prigozhin himself later confirmed that his mercenaries were leaving for places of permanent deployment, the message was published by his press service:
PMC Wagner wanted to disband. We left on June 23 for the march of justice. In a day we walked, not reaching 200 km, to Moscow. During this time, we have not shed a single drop of the blood of our fighters. Now is the moment when blood can be spilled. Therefore, realizing all the responsibility for the fact that Russian blood will be shed on one of the sides, we deploy our columns. And we leave in the opposite direction to the field camps, according to the plan.
What exactly was the plan and what exactly Prigozhin talked with Lukashenka was not specified in the message of the press service. In addition, Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the criminal case against Prigozhin would be dropped, he "would go to Belarus."
In the meantime, Wagner PMC fighters are loading their belongings, ammunition and equipment into vehicles and preparing to leave the streets of Rostov-on-Don , the video was published on the Military Informant Telegram channel
Initially, on the evening of June 23, Prigozhin announced a campaign against Rostov-on-Don in order to "stop" Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov. As a pretext for a "march of justice," he called a missile attack on the rear camps of mercenaries inflicted with their knowledge.
Video messages from the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Deputy Head of the Russian Group in Ukraine Sergey Surovikin and the First Deputy of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces (GU GSh is better known by the abbreviation GRU) Lieutenant General Vladimir Alekseev did not help stop the columns of "Wagnerites" that crossed the border between Russia and Ukraine and, encountering no resistance, they entered Rostov-on-Don (in some places they drove around sections of the road blocked by trolleybuses).
The Wagnerites took control of the headquarters of the Southern Military District (SMD) in Rostov-on-Don , where the headquarters of the United Group of Troops (Forces) is located, which manages the war in Ukraine . There, Prigozhin recorded a video of a conversation with Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and the aforementioned Vladimir Alekseev. In a conversation, Prigozhin says that the PMC came for Shoigu and Gerasimov, Alekseev answers him: “Take it!”.
According to the published photos, one of the positions of the "Wagnerites" was occupied in the building of the Rostov circus. At the time of the publication of the report, it is not known whether the Wagnerites left Rostov or whether they continue to occupy positions.
When a photo appeared on the social network, in which the tank was “stuck” in one of the service exits from the circus, the Rostov media specified that the tank was “set up like that” in order to block the entrance.
"Wagnerites" on June 24 could establish temporary control over the military airfield in Millerovo. According to the Fighterbomber Telegram channel associated with the Russian Aerospace Forces, Wagner PMCs have been allowed to carry out combat missions related to military operations in Ukraine. At the same time, one “Wagnerian” climbed on board so that the helicopter would not fly “somewhere in the wrong place” - that is, it would not go to strike at the Wagner PMC columns.
The operation of the PMC Wagner all this time looked like a well-organized and planned movement along the roads by mechanized columns, reinforced by military air defense systems, with armored vehicles, including tanks, on trawls and advanced combat guards.
One of the leaders of the separatists in the Donbass in 2014, Igor Girkin (Strelkov / Runov), stated that the “strategic idea” of the Wagner command was to break through to Moscow.
“Having gained a foothold in Rostov and diverting attention to oneself, one should sharply throw the most combat-ready shock units (several thousand bayonets) into a raid on Moscow. The task of which, bypassing all the major centers (Voronezh passed by, passing Lipetsk as well) and trying not to get involved in battles with local garrisons (even without blocking them), is to rush to Moscow and by all means reach it as soon as possible. Further - the calculation is made on the panic and flight of all high officials and the seizure of power "lying on the ground."
He noted that Wagner PMC fighters may encounter combat-ready units that do not want to surrender before approaching Moscow. In this case, the "Wagnerites" will have problems with the supply of the strike group, which will not be able to fight in isolation from the supply for longer than two or three days, and defeat.
Closer to the second half of the day, columns of the Chechen "Akhmat" began to advance towards Rostov-on-Don. Judging by the road sign in the video, they were about 87 km from the city, whether the columns were turned around after Prigozhin’s statement is unclear.
During the day of the rebellion, Russian troops lost 9 pieces of equipment, according to the calculations of the Dutch OSINT project Oryx. Thus, an Il-22M command post and six helicopters were shot down, including one Mi-8 helicopter, three Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare helicopters, one Mi-35M attack helicopter and one Ka-52 Alligator helicopter. In addition, a KAMAZ-435029 Patrol-A vehicle with mine and ambush protection and a Tigr-M armored car were seized.
This is much more than the Wagner PMC - among their losses so far there is only one UAZ-23632-148-64 pickup truck with a DShK machine gun mounted on it.
Three helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces were shot down by Wagnerites near the M-4 highway (Rostov / Voronezh region), the Fighterbomber Telegram channel associated with the Russian Aerospace Forces reported .
The information is confirmed by the Helicopterpilot Telegram channel associated with the army aviation, he writes that the helicopters were shot down after they opened fire on the Wagner convoy.
“The Mi-35 was used by PMCs. There is no information on the crew. Previously, PMCs returned fire after being used on their convoy.”
Also, according to sources of Helicopterpilot, "ordinary crews, who were tasked with hitting the PMC column, refused to complete the task."
The governor of the Voronezh region, Gusev, against the backdrop of the Wagnerites entering Rostov, announced the cancellation of all public events. The CTO regime was introduced in the region. In the Wagner columns, they noticed the Pantsir anti-aircraft missile and gun systems and the Strela-10 air defense system, which shot down at least three Russian helicopters and one Il-18 repeater aircraft.
When trying to shoot down a Ka-52 helicopter, an anti-aircraft guided missile of the Strela-10 air defense missile system of the Wagner PMC hit an oil depot on the outskirts of Voronezh. Baza claims that the fire at the oil depot was preceded by an explosion. In the video, a low-flying helicopter is visible a minute before the plume of smoke appeared. OSINT researcher CaliberObscura reports that Wagner PMC mercenaries tried to shoot down a Ka-52 helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces from the Strela-10 air defense system, missed and hit the oil depot.
The Fighterbomber Telegram channel, associated with the Russian Aerospace Forces, clarifies that the SAM missile did not hit the target because “the eggs of life worked” <probably meaning the L-370 Vitebsk airborne electronic warfare system - The Insider> .
The military also blew up an automobile bridge over the Don highway, two kilometers from the town of Boguchar, which was a junction between it and regional roads, eyewitnesses told Layout. The bridge served as an interchange between the federal highway and regional roads. Boguchar is located about 240 km from Voronezh. The publication notes that heavy bombs FAB-500, which were used to destroy infrastructure in Ukraine, could be used to destroy the bridge. It is not known whether the equipment and fighters of the Wagner PMC were on the bridge at the time of the explosion. The moment of the explosion on the bridge was captured on video by one of the drivers. It became known that three people were injured - a married couple and their child, they needed the help of an ambulance.
In Lipetsk, public utilities had to close up ditches dug during the day to prevent the advance of Wagner PMC detachments to the capital.
The M-4 highway and the highways parallel to it are needed to supply the Russian group in the Donbass.
On the morning of June 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a rather strange statement (which even some Z-channels wrote about), in which, without directly naming Prigogine, he announced "betrayal and treason." According to Putin, “the one who organized the rebellion and took up arms against his comrades-in-arms betrayed Russia and will answer for it. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and government agencies have received all the necessary orders.”
In a response statement, Prigozhin for the first time explicitly stated that he would not obey Putin.
“About the betrayal of the motherland. The president was deeply mistaken. We are patriots of our homeland, we fought and are fighting, all the fighters of the Wagner PMC. And no one is going to turn themselves in at the request of the president, the FSB or anyone else, because we do not want the country to live on in corruption, deceit and bureaucracy. When we fought in Africa, we were told that we needed Africa, and after that they abandoned it, because they stole all the money that was supposed to go to help.
When we were told that we were at war with Ukraine, we went and fought. But it turned out that ammunition, weapons, all the money that was put on them, are also stolen, and the bureaucrats are sitting, saving them for themselves, just for the case that has come today - when someone goes to Moscow. Now they are not saving anything, they are hitting with planes and helicopters on the columns where the civilians are walking. At the same time, they hit the civilians, because they don’t hit, and they hit anywhere. Therefore, we are patriots, and all those who oppose us today are those who have gathered around the scum."
Military correspondents and other leaders of public opinion carefully described what was happening.
- "Voenkor" VGTRK Yevgeny Poddubny wrote about the "big, tragic mistake";
- Another "military officer" of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, Alexander Sladkov, was looking for "things that calm the mind";
- The WarGonzo project of "military officer" Semyon Pegov called for "information hygiene", since there is "a lot of muddy" in this whole story;
- The propagandist Vladimir Solovyov provided vague Biblical allusions;
- The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, urged the “muzhiks” (who exactly, it is not clear) “not to succumb to temptation”;
- Komsomolskaya Pravda's "military correspondent" Alexander Kots said that the "Wagnerites" were "drawn into a dirty political game."
Even in the official reports of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, it was about the "criminal adventure of Prigozhin", into which ordinary PMC fighters were "drawn by deceit."
Almost all Russian politicians and propagandists, commenting on the situation, simply quoted Putin and called for “rallying” around him, and bots in comments on social networks called for the same.
Some Z-channels sounded sharp criticism not only of Prigozhin, but also of the Wagner PMC in general. In particular, the Fighterbomber channel wrote about the long-standing preparations for the rebellion, the robbery by the Wagnerites of units and subunits of the RF Armed Forces when leaving Bakhmut, as well as the reprisals against some commanders "in the basements." Roman Venevitin, ex-commander of the 72nd brigade of the RF Armed Forces, who was captured by the PMC Wagner, previously spoke about similar incidents.
The situation at the front
The events in the rear of the Russian grouping in Ukraine had almost no effect on the situation directly on the line of contact. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported on the concentration "on the starting lines for offensive operations of the units of the 35th brigade and the 36th brigade of the Marine Corps of the Armed Forces of Ukraine" in the Bakhmut direction. It is stated that air and artillery strikes were carried out on the accumulations of manpower and equipment.
The WarGonzo Telegram channel claims that due to Prigozhin’s rebellion, the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has faded into the background in the media space. According to the propaganda resource, by the evening of June 24, there were no active actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the direction of Orekhov-Rabotino in the Zaporozhye region .
In the Bakhmut area, Ukrainian servicemen attacked the positions of Russian troops several times in different directions, but there was no progress. A massive attack in this direction is expected in the next two days, WarGonzo notes, citing some "information obtained from the radio intercepts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."
The left bank of the Dnieper from the Kinburn Spit to Korsunka also remains under the full control of the Russian Armed Forces. On the Vremsky ledge, local battles continue in forest plantations, artillery is actively working, the report says.
Military expert David Gendelman said in a conversation with The Insider that at the moment there is no influence on the situation at the front, except for a general distraction of the attention of the military leadership from the conduct of hostilities.
“If the rebellion had not ended in the near future, this would have meant problems with logistics and supplies due to the blocking of roads in Russia, a violation of combat control at the level of the group as a whole. There would also be unrest in the troops, refusals to follow orders and a violation of the stability of control in the units, it would be possible to transfer forces and means from the front to Russia. If the clashes with Wagner PMCs continued, this would also mean further losses in manpower and equipment, and if the rebellion was successful, there would be political consequences for the war as a whole. Depending on the prevailing situation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine could use these factors in their offensive operations.
The fact that the events did not significantly affect the situation at the front was also stated by military expert Alexander Kovalenko in an interview with The Insider:
“If we talk about the command and control system, it continues to function. The control system is not undermined and is quite stable. The operational command continues to control the situation in the combat zone, and therefore today it does not influence in any way, except for the moments of demoralization and demotivation of Russian military personnel in the combat zone, who do not fully understand what is happening at all, and how to navigate the current situation.
At the same time, from time to time there are moments with orders that do not quite correspond to the usual ones, for example, with the exit from the combat zone and so on. All this will subsequently have a negative impact on the Russian occupation contingent, but only in the long term, if the very confrontation between Prigozhin and the Kremlin worsens and drags on.
Such a destabilization in Russia itself would not begin to manifest itself in the war zone until next week. In addition, according to the information that is available, the Russian command had no particular desire to withdraw some of the units from Ukrainian territory. Because not all divisions are equally trusted. There were risks that a number of units were more loyal to Prigozhin than to the Ministry of Defense and Putin. Regarding the supply of ammunition, it is through the Rostov region that the issue of deliveries is raised, but the fact of the matter is that Prigozhin did not fully control the Rostov region. Its units were locally located in Rostov and the Rostov region, but, as far as we know, the Wagnerites did not control the main transport hubs, so the supply was at the same level.
Mutual shelling and sabotage
According to the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on June 24, 41 cruise missiles and two strike drones of the RF Armed Forces were destroyed.
At night, the Russian Armed Forces launched a missile attack on the territory of Ukraine with air-launched cruise missiles from Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 bombers and Shahed-136/131 strike drones. Strategic aviation aircraft fired 40 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea area. As a result, the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down all 40 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles, one Kalibr cruise missile and two Shahed kamikaze drones.
When hitting a multi-storey building in Kiev, two people were killed and eight people were injured, according to the Kievskaya OVA. Rocket fragments hit a residential building, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Later, the mayor said that a total of three people died, two were hospitalized, but people could remain under the rubble, so search and rescue work continues.
The head of the Kharkiv OVA, Oleg Sinegubov, said that there were at least three "arrivals" in the Slobodsky district. Explosions were also reported in Krivoy Rog, Dnipro, Kremenchug, Kropyvnytskyi and Nikolaev.
On June 24, at around 4:00 p.m., the Armed Forces of Ukraine tried to fire missiles at Berdyansk, according to pro-Russian Telegram channels, including the channel of Boris Rozhin, an expert from the Center for Military-Political Journalism. The missiles were shot down by air defense, the publications say. Ukrainian channels published a photo:
About the main events of the war on June 23 - in the previous report: “Prigozhin declared war on Shoigu, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are moving towards Rabotino, Russian logistics are being reinforced with horses. What's happening on the front line .