The Russian president says his country is fighting for its future, as he accuses Wagner chief Prighozin of fomenting armed civil conflict.
Speaking during an emergency televised address in Moscow on Saturday, President Vladimir Putin has promised that he would not allow Russia to slip into civil war, after Yevgeny Prighozin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary force, seized a key military headquarters overseeing the offensive in Ukraine.
Below is the full transcript of Putin’s address:
“I appeal to the citizens of Russia, to the personnel of the armed forces, law enforcement and security services, fighters and commanders currently fighting on their positions, repelling the enemy attacks, doing it heroically.
I spoke to the commanders in all directions last night. I appeal also to those who were deceptively pulled into the criminal adventure, pushed towards a serious crime of an armed mutiny.
Today Russia is fighting fiercely for its future, repelling the aggression of neo-Nazis and their handlers. Directed against us is the whole military, economical and information machines of the West.
We fight for the lives and security of our people; for our sovereignty and independence; for the right to remain Russia, a state with a thousand-year history.
This battle, where the fate of our people is being decided, requires all our forces to be united; unity, consolidation and responsibility. Everything that weakens us must be put to the side, any differences that may be used or are used by our enemies to disrupt us from within.
Thus, the actions splitting our unity are a betrayal of our people, of our brothers in combat who fight now at the front line. It’s a stab in the back of our country and our people.
It was such a blow that was dealt to Russia in 1917 when the country was fighting in World War I, but its victory was stolen.
Intrigues, bickering and politicking behind the back of the army and the people turned out to be the greatest catastrophe, the destruction of the army and the state, loss of huge territories, resulting in a tragedy and a civil war.