Prigozhin Speaks on March of Justice in an Audio Message
Translated message gives perspective
Yevgeny Prigozhin (Telegram)
The following is an English translation of six minutes of audio recording from Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Group leader and disgraced “Putin’s chef.” The audio tmessage his transcript originated from was released from Prigozhin’s press service Telegram channel Concord (Russian Konkord) in a post on June 27.
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“I have received 1000 questions regarding the reasons behind the “March of Justice.” Wagner is a motivated group of fighters who fights for Russia's interests globally, including Africa, the Middle East, and successfully in Ukraine. Wagner was slated to be disbanded on July 1, 2023, due to internal intrigues. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) intended to sign contracts with Wagner fighters. Only a tiny percentage of our fighters transitioned to the MOD. To move to MOD would mean going through the meat grinder in the war zone.
Wagner opposes the disbandment, which led us to organize the “March of Justice.” Our intention was not to be aggressive, but it was the response to the MOD who launched shells at Wagner troops in Ukraine, causing unbearable conditions. Our march spanned 24 hours and covered a distance of 780 km, stopping 200 km from Moscow.
We made the decision to stop for two reasons:
To Prevent the spilling of Russian blood.
We did not seek to remove power from Putin. The “March of Justice” served as a statement.
Simultaneously, during negotiations with President of Belarus Vladimir Lukashenko the new jurisdiction for the Wagner group was offered, allowing Wagner to operate in Belarus.
“March of Justice” shed light on the issues we had previously discussed, such as significant problems with safety in military facilities within the country. If highly trained fighters from Wagner PMC had initiated the Special Operation on February 24, 2022, the operation might have been completed within 24 hours. However, there were other problems aside from the army's poor quality.
During our March of Justice, peaceful citizens expressed happiness at seeing us. They displayed Wagner flags and expressed disappointment when we decided to halt the march. The people of Russia perceived Wagner as a symbol of support for the country and its fight against bureaucracy and other internal issues. These are the main questions I wanted to address to prevent disinformation in both Russian and foreign media.”