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Putin Thanks Troops Who Defended Constitutional Order in Russia

June 28, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered two sets of remarks at the Kremlin yesterday in which he thanked service members who were involved in countering the Wagner rebellion on June 23-24. In the first speech, which he delivered on the Cathedral Square of the Kremlin, Putin addressed service personnel from the units of the Defense Ministry, the Federal Service of National Guard Troops, the Federal Security Service, the Interior Ministry and the Federal Guard Service who “are the ones who, together with their comrades-in-arms, at a time of challenge for the country, threw themselves in the way of trouble which would have inevitably led to chaos.”

“You have defended the constitutional order, as well as the life, security and freedom of our citizens, steering our Motherland clear from upheavals and de facto stopping a civil war in its tracks,” he continued. “In that complicated situation, you acted in a firm and coordinated manner, proving your commitment to the people of Russia and to your military oath through your actions and showing responsibility for the destiny and future of Russia.” He particularly stressed that combat operations in the SMO zone continued without interruption and that no troops were withdrawn in response to the Wagner insurrection.

“Your resolve and courage, along with consolidation of Russian society, played an essential and decisive role in bringing the situation back to normal. Those who were drawn into the mutiny saw that the army and the people were not with them,” he said. “The swift and well-managed deployment of defense, security and law enforcement units helped prevent the situation in the country from going down a very dangerous road and ensure that there were no civilian casualties.” The ceremony also included a moment of silence for the 15 or so aircrew members who died when their aircraft were shot down by Wagner forces.

Afterwards, Putin met with a smaller group consisting of personnel just from the military who, he said, “had a special part to play in this. Special words of gratitude go to you.”

Putin credited them with preventing a civil war. Armed rebellions, he noted, are usually followed by total chaos and civil war. “This is what you have prevented,” he said. “That was your role. As the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, I would like to express my gratitude to you. I want to make clear what it was all about and what I am talking about now.”

“I want to stress once again that chaos in the country would have been inevitable, and the enemy would have surely taken advantage of it,” Putin said further.

“The enemy is trying to do so anyway ... but nothing is coming out of it, and, I hope, nothing will come out of it, I am even sure of that. But it is absolutely clear that they would have taken advantage of it. No one knows what would have become of the country in the end, but all the achievements that have been made during the hostilities, many of them, anyway, would have been lost. And you prevented it.”

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