In the aftermath of a drone attack on Moscow that caused injuries and property damage, the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary force, Yevgeny Prigozhin, once again criticized the Russian military and political elite. In a dynamic statement on Telegram by his press service, Prigozhin lashed out at officials residing in Moscow’s affluent suburb of Rublyovka, blaming them for failing to protect the capital city.
In his statement, Prigozhin condemned the Defense Ministry for their lack of action, demanding to know why they allowed the drones to reach Moscow. He also expressed concern for the ordinary citizens who suffered the consequences of the explosive-laden drones crashing into their windows.
Specifically targeting the influential residents of Rublyovka, Prigozhin referred to them as “scum” and “swine” for their perceived indifference during the attack. Alexander Khinshtein, a prominent member of Russia’s ruling United Russia bloc, revealed that three of the eight downed drones fell in Rublyovka villages, one of which is located just a short drive from President Vladimir Putin’s residence at Novo-Ogaryovo.
Rublyovka, a collection of exclusive gated communities in the forests west of Moscow, is home to Russia’s political, business, and cultural elite. Prigozhin has frequently criticized these residents, labeling them as out-of-touch with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and blaming the military leadership for Russian failures on the battlefield.
Adding to the tensions, Igor Girkin, a Russian military blogger found guilty of the MH17 tragedy, also criticized the Rublyovka residents for their apparent disregard for the country’s well-being.
Furthermore, Prigozhin chastised Putin for referring to the war in Ukraine as a “special military operation” despite the recent drone attacks on the Russian capital. The Institute for the Study of War reported that Prigozhin’s comments highlighted Putin’s reluctance to be publicly angered by the attack, believing the Russian public would not be greatly unsettled by it.
Meanwhile, Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, called on the Kremlin to declare nationwide martial law and utilize all available resources in Ukraine to combat the perceived terrorist threat.
As tensions escalate, the Washington-based think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, reported that Kadyrov warned European countries about supplying weapons to Ukraine, stating that they would be defenseless if Russia turned its attention towards them.
While Putin acknowledged the need to enhance Moscow’s air defenses against Ukrainian “terrorism,” Russia’s envoy to the United States accused Washington of tacitly supporting such attacks by not condemning the drone raid. The UK’s Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, asserted that Ukraine had the legitimate right to defend itself, including attacking targets on Russian territory, for self-defense.
Amid the escalating conflict, Ukrainian forces reportedly shelled a Russian town near the border, causing damage and injuries. Additionally, a Ukrainian drone sparked a fire at an oil refinery in southern Russia, further stoking tensions between the two nations.
The world watches with concern as the situation unfolds, hoping for a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis between Russia and Ukraine.