Russians consider the group's march toward Moscow, according to Wagner

Flags are waved by a Wagner supporter in Rostov-on-Don

Residents of Rostov-on-Don, the city the mercenary troops seized, have been considering the events that shook Russia a week after the dramatic mutiny by Wagner forces.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group, staged an uprising in just 24 hours, sending troops into the million-person city and onward toward Moscow.   .

The BBC has made the decision to protect the identities of the people who spoke with us due to the current laws prohibiting criticism of the alleged "special military operation" in Russia.

One resident of Rostov-on-Don, identified by the BBC as Vadim, described the moment he noticed Wagner forces in the area.   .

"On that particular day, I had to leave my house just to run to the store for a few things. I came across these armed individuals who had blocked off the road around ten or eleven. "Passers-by were simply allowed to carry on walking," he said on the BBC World Service's Weekend program. "They were checking cars and asking people for documents.   .

A member of the Wagner group in Rostov-on-Don
There were soldiers stationed all over Rostov.

Vadim began getting calls from concerned friends asking if he was alright as soon as he arrived home. He made the choice to spend the rest of the day at home.   .

"If I were to describe how I felt that day, I suppose you could say that I was alarmed and possibly even scared. We were aware of Prigozhin's plans because Wagner is notorious for its crimes throughout the world.

He continued, "I was afraid because of the association that we have of Wagner killing someone with a sledgehammer.   .

According to Vadim, the Ukrainian conflict completely altered the city. It has numerous military hospitals, wounded soldiers, and has grown more militarized.   .

"It feels like the city is really quite close to the front. "  .

Russian policemen stand guard in front of the Kremlin near Red sq\.
Anastasia, who was in Moscow, claimed that she felt anxious due to the situation's uncertainty.

Anastasia was traveling to Moscow from St. Petersburg as Vadim sat at home in Rostov-on-Don.   .

Together, she said, "we checked the news all night, and when we woke up the next morning, there was even more news.". It was very intense.   .

In the southwest of the city, where preparations for the arrival of the Wagner forces had begun, Anastasia, another pseudonym, was staying with a friend. She claimed that she wasn't concerned about the troops capturing the capital. The situation was so uncertain that it gave her anxiety.   .

"All these things, which had previously seemed unbelievable, were starting to occur. What happened after that was also entirely unclear. That uncertainty was a little frightening, she remembered.   .

"We had no hopeful predictions for what would happen when Prigozhin began his march to Moscow. "Prigozhin taking Moscow didn't go over well with anyone around me," Anastasia said.

"Every scenario appeared to be very bad. The fact that something appeared to be changing was the only thing that offered some ray of hope. It was possible to change because of a few things. Then it was over. " .

Prigozhin called off the advance and told his men to return to base by Saturday night. His troops were just 124 miles (200 km) away from Moscow.   .

As a result of their retreat, Wagner troops began to evacuate Rostov-on-Don on Monday.   .

A supporter of Wagner waves flags in Rostov-on-Don
Some Russians in Rostov-on-Don welcomed the Wagner troops with open arms.

Vadim claimed that although city life had returned to normal, people were still making jokes about the previous week's events.   .

"We've been claiming that there was a mutiny on Saturday, that there was a day off on Sunday, that there was a fire in the zoo on Monday, that there was flooding on Tuesday due to heavy rain, and that there were some knife fights on Wednesday. " .

Vadim claims that there hasn't been political stability in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine with regard to the current political situation in that nation.   .

"You know there's a saying in Chekov that the gun is hung on the wall in the first scene and fires in the last scene. You reap what you sow, after all. So nothing about this is particularly shocking.

. "

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