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Putin accuses Wagner head of treason in national address

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday accused the Wagner chief of "treason."

"What we are facing is essentially a betrayal. Inflated ambitions and personal interests have led to treason – treason against our country, our people and the common cause which Wagner Group soldiers and commanders were fighting and dying for shoulder to shoulder, together with our other units and troops," Putin said in a video address to the nation.

Putin said he is also addressing "those who were dragged into this criminal adventure through deceit or threats and pushed onto the path of a grave crime," urging them to do away with actions that could harm Russia from within.

"Therefore, any actions that split our nation are essentially a betrayal of our people, of our comrades-in-arms who are now fighting at the frontline. This is backstabbing our country and our people," Putin said.

Putin reiterated that the entire "military, economic and information machine" of the West is directed against Moscow.

He said any "internal revolt" is "a deadly threat to our statehood and our nation," vowing harsh punishments to those who have taken the path of "betrayal."

Putin further said that he has given instructions to the Russian Armed Forces and other government agencies, stating that "resolute action will also be taken to stabilize the situation in Rostov-on-Don."

"Those who staged the mutiny and took up arms against their comrades – they have betrayed Russia and will be brought to account. I urge those who are being dragged into this crime not to make a fatal and tragic mistake but make the only right choice: to stop taking part in criminal actions," Putin added.


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