Saturday, 23 September, 2023

Putin ‘victorious’ in Wagner uprising: Maduro

Russian President Vladimir Putin has managed to thwart a civil war in his country, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said on Saturday, hours after PMC Wagner chief Evgeny Prigozhin agreed to stand down and cease his insurrection, reports the Russia Today.

Speaking at an event commemorating the Day of the Bolivarian Army, Maduro reiterated that Caracas stands in solidarity with Putin. The Russian leader “faced an attempted betrayal and civil war, and at this time he is victorious with Russia at peace,” the president said.

“From Venezuela, all our support for President Vladimir Putin, Venezuela’s brother,” he added. His remarks came after the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, speaking on behalf of Maduro, “strongly condemned” the Wagner Group and its leader Evgeny Prigozhin following their efforts to “promote an armed insurrection… through methods of terrorists.”

Venezuela has enjoyed close ties with Moscow for many years, with cooperation ranging from investments in the oil industry to arms sales. It has also slammed Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, with Maduro describing them as “a crime [and] an economic war.”

Meanwhile, Cuba, another country in the region that has had long-established friendly relations with Moscow, also voiced support for Putin. President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez said both the Caribbean country and its people expressed their solidarity with the Russian leader “in the face of attempts to provoke an armed rebellion.”

“We are fully convinced that unity and constitutional order will prevail,” he added.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Saavedra also stepped in, stating his support and solidarity with Putin.

On Friday night, Prigozhin accused the Russian Defense Ministry of launching a deadly missile strike on a Wagner camp, promising retaliation. The ministry denied the allegation, describing it as “informational provocation.”

In the following hours, Wagner troops reportedly captured several military installations in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, with some forces marching on Moscow.

On Saturday evening, however, Prigozhin agreed to stop the advance on the Russian capital and return his fighters to their bases in exchange for “security guarantees” as part of the deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.