The column of PMC Wagner, moving from the south of Russia to Moscow, covered more than 700 km in half of Saturday, making its way from Rostov-on-Don to the village of Krasnoye, Lipetsk region. From there to Moscow remains about 400 km.
They try to block the way for the mercenaries, but they successfully overcome the obstacles. So, in the video from the Voronezh region, trucks are seen trying to block the M-4 Don highway: they randomly lie on the side of the road, breaking through the fence in places. “The road workers were pushed aside, and the column moved on,” comments a voice in the background.
Other videos show how road services using excavators destroy the roadbed on a highway in the Lipetsk region. In particular, the road was dug up, making it unsuitable for cars, at the entrance to the Chaplyginsky district in the north-east of the region.
The governor of the region, Igor Artamonov, confirmed that Wagner PMC equipment is moving around the region. “Law enforcement agencies and authorities, including in municipalities, are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the population,” the head of the region wrote. He also urged residents not to leave their homes and refrain from traveling "in any form of transport."
Former adviser to the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Vasily Budik, in an interview with The Insider, said that, according to his data, Yevgeny Prigozhin now has 30,000 people at his disposal, who move in small columns of up to a thousand people, each of which is equipped with MANPADS.
“There is no one who could oppose him [Prigozhin]. All forces at the front. He captures the city with assault groups, then the carts move there, and while they are being pulled up, the assault ones have already moved on, and now they are already in Lipetsk. They will not occupy it, they will immediately go to Moscow.
The columns stretch out for a long distance as the stormtroopers run forward and bypass the nodes of resistance. This is the Kharkov operation, Prigogine just repeated it in Russia. He does not have the task of getting involved in battles, he needs to take the Kremlin.
Ukrainian military expert Leonid Dmitriev told The Insider that the “Wagnerites” are likely to use civilian equipment that they seize along the way to move around. According to him, the security forces concentrated in the regions cannot resist the military tactics of the PMC Wagner.
“The army operates on the offensive, it is dynamic. Prigozhin acts in a military way and therefore successfully. Everything that is located in the depths of Russia is not able to counteract militarily. The special forces of the Russian Guard can set up a local ambush and destroy the DRG, or an enemy platoon, or company. But the garrison of conditional Lipetsk will not do anything with the battalion. Let's say you destroy the vanguard. But the logic of the military advance is such that those who go in the middle will still beat you. And the column will move on, simply re-forming the vanguard.
The only way to slow down the progress of this convoy is to destroy all oil depots and all gas stations along the way and hope that it does not have a supply of fuel with it. But Russia does not know how. In Russia, they are fighting tanks, not fuel trucks.”
According to Dmitriev, the Wagner PMC uses classic offensive tactics.
“Sharpened for certain tasks and accordingly armed people move in a certain place of the column and perform specific tasks. Somewhere the column breaks, someone is moving 10-20 km ahead, someone is a little behind, but everyone is doing their tasks. And not a single guard or special forces of the FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs are able to work with this. They are not prepared for this.
Let's say the FSB special forces set up an ambush. The military will not even engage in infantry combat with machine guns. They will simply destroy them with a 120-mm caliber from a distance at which the enemy will not even see them. The only problem is how the 'Wagnerians' will evacuate and treat the wounded under these conditions. Prigozhin needs to be shown that we not only gave a fuck, we also evacuated our wounded. This is critically important for him, without this it will be more difficult for him to recruit new people for himself.
Dmitriev also told how, in his opinion, Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov would act.
“Now he needs to find some combat-ready troops somewhere, set them in motion, determine the meeting point, conditional Borodino, and hope that the National Guard, the FSB and the rest will delay the advance of the 'Prigozhins' for a sufficient period of time to have time to equip positions and take the fight. Because if you raise a company or battalion on alert now and throw them into battle, Wagner will simply crush them.
A photo from the Tula region shows a highway blocked by buses.
At the same time, the regime of the counter-terrorist operation, which has been operating in Moscow and the Moscow region since the morning, has not been declared in this region. Earlier, The Insider wrote that the governor of the Tula region, Alexei Dyumin, has a close relationship with Prigozhin.