Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has commended the “loyalty” of the Russian Armed Forces for helping to stop an attempted rebellion by private mercenary group Wagner, as the Kremlin praised the security services for their role.
Speaking to the military on Monday, Shoigu said the rebellion was an “attempt to destabilize the situation in Russia,” but that it had failed “primarily because the personnel of the Armed Forces showed loyalty to their oath and military duty.”
Russia glimpsed the threat of armed insurrection in late June, with Wagner Group mercenaries marching toward Moscow as President Vladimir Putin vowed retribution – all before a sudden deal seemed to defuse the crisis as rapidly as it had emerged.
In his first comments since the 24-hour mutiny, Shoigu added that “the provocation” had no impact on the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine, where the servicemen “courageously and selflessly continued to fulfil the tasks assigned to them.”
“I thank the (military) personnel for their dedicated service,” the minister added.
The Kremlin also praised Russia’s security agency for its role in putting down the attempted rebellion.
Speaking to journalists during a conference call Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commended the “effective functioning of the special services and government agencies, including the Federal Security Service (FSB).”
Peskov did not comment on the questions surrounding how and why such a mutiny could take place, but emphasized the effective fulfilment of duties by all services.
“All services, ministries, departments, special services are effectively carrying out their duties,” he said.
He added that Putin had expressed gratitude for the high level of unity and consolidation among the armed forces and special services during these “challenging days.”
The immediate risk of bloodshed appears to have dissipated, but much remains uncertain; experts warn that the rare uprising is still likely to have consequences down the line.
Putin must now navigate the aftermath of the most serious challenge to his authority since he came to power over 20 years ago, which appeared to have him on the back foot for a day and half.