Putin hails military for saving Russia from civil war
Russian President Vladimir Putin has lauded the swift and effective response of his country’s military and security forces during the recent armed mutiny by the Wagner paramilitary group.
Addressing some 2,500 members of the military, the security forces, and the National Guard inside the Kremlin's Cathedral Square on Tuesday, Putin said they "de facto stopped the civil war" over the weekend.
"You saved our homeland from turmoil, and actually stopped civil war," Putin told the troops. "You have defended the constitutional order, the lives, security and freedom of our citizens. You have saved our Motherland from upheaval."
He said that an unspecified number of Russian military pilots had been killed when trying to stop the advance of the Wagner mutineers toward Moscow on Saturday.
"In the confrontation with the insurgents our comrades-in-arms, the aviators died," said the president. “They did not falter and carried out their orders and their military duty with honor."
Putin said the mutineers and the people he said had been "dragged into the rebellion" had seen that the Russian army and the people were not on their side.
The Wagner paramilitary group has been fighting alongside Russian forces in Ukraine.