Traffic restrictions are maintained on the main highway linking Moscow to the south
Traffic restrictions remain in place on a major highway in Moscow and the Tula region, Russia’s federal highway agency Avtodor told state media on Sunday.
The M-4 “Don connects Moscow with the southern regions of Russia and travel from the Russian capital and the Lipetsk region were temporarily limited.
Avtodor had advised drivers to avoid the M-4 on Saturday amid reports that convoys of Wagner fighters were using the road.
Ukraine Targets Captured City Where Wagner Group Helped Russian Victory
Ukraine’s military said on Saturday it had made advances near Bakhmut, the eastern city where Wagner Group forces helped achieve a much-needed victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported «progress in all directions» in a post on Telegram. She said her country’s forces had launched offensives in a ring of towns surrounding the city.
Russian forces first attempted to take Bakhmut in August 2022 and became increasingly reliant on Wagner’s forces to hold ground in the longest and bloodiest battle of the invasion.
Several helicopters shot down during the uprising, Russian media report
Several helicopters and a military communications plane were shot down by Wagner’s troops during the short-lived uprising, Russian media reported late Saturday.
Wagner’s boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, earlier said his forces had taken control of the military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, as well as other military installations in the city without deaths or «a single shot.»
The Kremlin referred the question about the losses to the Defense Ministry, which has not ruled on the matter.
Putin weakened despite end of rebellion, says former US ambassador to Russia
President Vladimir Putin appeared relatively unscathed after a failed attempt to overthrow the Russian military, but a former US ambassador to Russia has said he may never be the same again.
Win or lose, Prigozhin’s attempt to change military leadership to his liking would likely have kept Putin as the country’s top leader, said Michael McFaul, a former US ambassador to Russia under then-President Barack Obama.
Still, the attempted coup seen around the world left the leader with less power, McFaul said on NBC Nightly News on Saturday.
“I don’t think he’s deadly weak,” said McFaul, also a former Obama adviser who specialized in Russia. “I think he can survive this. But today he is much weaker than just 24 hours ago.
Blinken assures Ukraine’s foreign minister that US support is constant
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has assured Ukraine’s foreign minister that America’s support for his nation is unwavering.
Blinken spoke to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday about the consequences of Wagner’s rebellion.
The repercussions of Ukraine’s apparent withdrawal were unclear, but Blinken’s spokesman, Matthew Miller, reiterated that the United States, Ukraine’s biggest sponsor during the war, will not be intimidated.
«America’s support for Ukraine will not change,» Miller said. «The United States will remain in close coordination with Ukraine as the situation develops.»