Jun 26, 2023 - World

Russian defense minister seen in video for first time since Wagner rebellion

Sergei Shoigu seen during the SCTO Summit in November 2022 in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo: Contributor/Getty Images

Russia's Defense Ministry released a video Monday showing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visiting a military command post involved in the war in Ukraine — the first time he's been seen since this weekend's uprising by the Wagner Group.

Why it matters: Wagner boss Yevgeniy Prigozhin publicly feuded with Shoigu for months, calling him a "weak grandfather" during this weekend's short-lived rebellion and demanding his removal.

  • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday that he was "not aware of any changes in the issue of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's trust" in Shoigu.
  • But speculation has swirled that Shoigu and other military leaders could be replaced.

State of play: The video, released on Telegram, comes as the Kremlin seeks to project a sense of control as uncertainty over what the uprising will mean for Russia and its leadership, including Putin, mounts. It was unclear when and where exactly the video was filmed.

  • The clip contains no sound but shows Shoigu attending a meeting and viewing documents.
  • Shoigu also received a briefing from the commander of the group, Colonel-General Yevgeny Nikiforov, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Go deeper: What to know about Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group

Go deeper