‘The president is sorely mistaken’ Yevgeny Prigozhin’s response to Putin’s emergency address condemning Wagner Group’s insurrection
Shortly after noon Moscow time on Saturday, Yevgeny Prigozhin posted an audio message to Telegram responding to Vladimir Putin’s earlier emergency address to the Russian people. (The president, without using Prigozhin’s name, vowed that he and his supporters will “suffer an inevitable punishment” and will “answer before the law and before our people.”) We’ve translated Prigozhin’s response in its entirety.
Regarding the betrayal of the motherland, the president is sorely mistaken. We’re patriots of our motherland. We’ve fought and we’ll continue fighting. All Wagner Group fighters. And none of us is going to turn himself in at the demand of the president, the FSB, or anybody else. Because we don’t want the country to go on living in corruption, deception, and bureaucracy. When we fought in Africa, they told us we need Africa, and then they abandoned it, because they plundered all the money that was supposed to help. When they told us that we were fighting against Ukraine, we went and fought. But it turned out that the ammunition, the weapons, all the money that was allocated for them was also plundered. And the bureaucrats sit there, saving it for themselves, specifically for the day when this happens, when someone marches on Moscow. Now they’re not saving anything — they’re using planes and helicopters to bomb columns where there are civilians. And they’re bombing civilians because they can’t hit their targets. And they’re just hitting whatever they hit. So we’re the patriots, and those who are resisting us are the ones who have gathered around scoundrels.