Saturday, May 18, 2024

Moscow mayor told residents to avoid travelling, outdoor events suspended

The Moscow region has suspended all mass outdoor events until July 1, the authorities announced, amid the Wagner private military company’s insurrection and reports that its personnel are heading towards the Russian capital, its as per media reports.

It follows Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin telling everyone to refrain from travelling around the city and asking people to restrict their movements around the capital as rebels from the mercenary Wagner Group appear to be heading towards the city, the BBC reported.

Earlier in the day, life was continuing much as normal, albeit with a heavy security presence, and with roadblocks set up to check vehicles, it added.

Some bridges have also been closed.

“The situation is difficult,” Sobyanin said in his statement posted on Telegram.

He added that it’s possible some roads or neighbourhoods in the city will be closed to traffic.

Sobyanin, has just put out a statement on Telegram announcing that “a counter-terrorist operation regime has been declared in Moscow” and that Monday will be a “non-working day” to “minimise risks”, BBC reported.

He asked Muscovites to “refrain from travelling around the city as much as possible”.

“City services are on high alert,” he said.

Wagner mercenaries appear to be moving north from central regions of Russia, in the direction of the capital, BBC reported.

Verified information from the ground is relatively sparse but Wagner troops appear to be moving north in the direction of Moscow, it said.

This morning, Wagner mercenaries were seen in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don; later, reports came that Wagner troops were in Voronezh, 560km north.

Now, the governor of the Lipetsk region, north of Voronezh, said Wagner troops are moving through the region, BBC reported.

Moscow lies only 400km north. It’s not clear how many troops Wagner has in each place, or how large the group seen in Lipetsk was.

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