According to Ukrainian military expert Oleksandr Kovalenko, no fewer than 180 Russian soldiers have surrendered to mercenary group, Wagner PMC, in the Voronezh region.
Also, reports added that Wagner PMC disarmed a Russian military company without resistance at the Bugaevka border crossing (in the Voronezh region of the Russian Federation).
Forward Wagner convoys have already entered the Voronezh region of the Russian Federation and are moving towards Moscow with armoured vehicles.
Russian and international media reported that Prigozhin have captured undefended Voronezh.
SaharaReporters earlier reported that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in a televised address accused the Wagner group of a “stab in the back” saying Russia was “facing treason.”
It had also earlier been reported that the Russian mercenary chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said he wanted to oust the leadership of the Defence Ministry over its purported incompetence and had posted videos of himself in the southern Russian city of Rostov where the Russian army had one of its headquarters.
An audio message on the social media app Telegram detailed Prigozhin’s fighters had crossed the border and were “ready to die” in confrontation with those in their way.
“All of us are ready to die. All 25,000, and then another 25,000,” he said, after earlier accusing the Russian top brass of launching strikes against his men,” he said.
“We are dying for the Russian people.”
However, Putin was quick to double-down on those working outside his regime and warned of “inevitable punishment” for anyone dividing Russian society, Independent News UK Reports.
Putin went on to say some of his countrymen had been “tricked into a criminal adventure” without specifically referring to those under Prigozhin.
He also said “high treason” was the result of certain “ambitions” that are underway.
“This is a criminal campaign. It is equivalent to armed mutiny,” Putin said.
“Russia will defend itself and repel this move. We are fighting for the life and security of our citizens and our territorial integrity. In the face of those who are fighting on the front, this is a stab in the back of the troops and the people of Russia.”
Putin acknowledged the situation was “very complicated” and unfolding at speed.
“Those who mutiny have betrayed Russia and I urge anybody involved in it to cease any kind of participation in armed conflict,” he said.
“These people will be brought to justice on behalf of our people.”
Prigozhin currently claims to have more than 25,000 fighters under his command.
In one video, Prigozhin said he was at the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov and demanded Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and the country’s top general Valery Gerasimov come meet him.
“We have arrived here, we want to receive the chief of the general staff and Shoigu,” Prigozhin said in the video.
“Unless they come, we’ll be here, we’ll blockade the city of Rostov and head for Moscow.”
He earlier accused the Kremlin of deliberately bombing Wagner troops in a series of explosive claims.
The alleged attacks include the bombing of a training camp in Bakhmut, Ukraine, which killed dozens.
Prigozhin said in another video multiple military sites in Rostov, including the airfield, were under the Wagner’s control.
In a statement, Russia’s Defence Ministry said the Wagner mercenary fighters had been “deceived and dragged into a criminal adventure” by Prigozhin.