June 23, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Christian Edwards, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Leinz Vales, Tori B. Powell and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:07 a.m. ET, June 24, 2023
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11:40 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Moscow mayor says "anti-terrorist measures" are being carried out in the city

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin says that "anti-terrorist measures" are being carried out in the city as a result of "incoming information," according to an update on his Telegram group.

"In connection with the incoming information, antiterrorist measures are being taken in Moscow aimed at strengthening security measures," Sobyanin said.

The measures include "additional control on the roads" and "limitations on holding public events."

11:41 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

At least 2 dead in Kyiv attack, Ukrainian military official says

From CNN's Mariya Knight

At least two people were killed and eight others injured when debris hit a tall building in Kyiv's central Solomyanskyi district, a Ukrainian military official said.

Serhiy Popko, head of the Kyiv region military administration, said the debris hit a 24-story building. Previously, the Kyiv mayor reported it was 16 stories.

"Clarification of information regarding the consequences of debris hitting a 24-story building in the Solomyanskyi district. At the moment, two dead have been identified. Injured — eight people. Two were hospitalized, the rest received medical assistance on the spot. About 40 cars parked in the parking lot were damaged," Popko said on Telegram Saturday.

The Kyiv city military administration says air defense systems destroyed more than 20 missiles in airspace around Kyiv overnight.

11:24 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Videos appear to show military vehicles and helicopters in Rostov

Videos posted to social media purport to show military helicopters flying over the Russian city of Rostov and a number of armored vehicles on city streets on Saturday morning.

The videos have been geolocated by CNN to Teatral'nyy Prospekt, in Rostov.

It is currently unclear whose command these vehicles are under the control of. Rostov region Governor Vasily Golubev asked residents on Saturday morning to stay calm and not leave their homes. 

Rostov is in Russia's south, near to the border with southeastern Ukraine, and about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Moscow.

10:38 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Analysis: Tensions between Prigozhin and Russian MOD come to a head

From CNN's Matthew Chance

Various police on duty near presidential administration as the road is being cordoned off in Moscow, Russia, on June 24, 2023.
Various police on duty near presidential administration as the road is being cordoned off in Moscow, Russia, on June 24, 2023. Reuters

Tensions between Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian defense ministry are finally coming to a head, with the Wagner leader threatening to attack Russian troops in retaliation for what he says was a deadly strike against his own paramilitary forces.

In extraordinary developments, the Russian security services accused Prigozhin of launching a coup attempt and have launched a criminal prosecution which could eventually see him jailed in what would be a dramatic fall from grace for one of Russia’s most prominent and outspoken figures.

For months, Prigozhin has been lambasting Russia’s High Command for mishandling the Ukraine war, repeatedly accusing the defense minister and the country’s military chief of incompetence.

Earlier this month, the Kremlin demanded all Russian mercenaries sign contracts with the Russian defense ministry, in a move seen as an attempt to control Wagner.

But Prigozhin remained defiant, refusing to comply and voicing increasingly vitriolic tirades against the Russian military hierarchy.

In the hours before the alleged attack on the Wagner camp, Prigozhin posted more inflammatory comments on social media, accusing the defense ministry of deceiving Russian President Vladimir Putin about the threat posed by Ukraine ahead of his February 2022 invasion. He also questioned Russian motives for the war.

Now, Moscow has been placed on alert in a response to Prigozhin’s call for a "march for justice" against defense officials he says are responsible for attacking Wagner, while his mercenary forces are said to be entering the southern Russian region of Rostov.

CNN cannot independently verify the claims.

Meanwhile, next door in Ukraine, defense officials say they are watching closely as Russia seems to plunge into turmoil.

10:38 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Russian state media reporter says streets are calm in Rostov on Don

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Military vehicles seen in Russia's Rostov as security is tightened over Wagner 'coup' on June 24, 2023.
Military vehicles seen in Russia's Rostov as security is tightened over Wagner 'coup' on June 24, 2023. Reuters

A Russian state media correspondent said the situation is calm in the southern city of Rostov on Don and a street closure is only partial.

The eye-witness account comes after Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his fighters were entering the Russian Rostov region, which neighbors Ukraine. Prigozhin earlier threatened to retaliate against Russia's military after accusing the leadership of killing his men in a strike on a camp.

According to the RIA Novosti correspondent, traffic is blocked on one side of Budennovsky Avenue, as well as on part of Pushkinskaya Street.

In that area, there is one armored personnel carrier, one Patrol-A armored car, one Tigr-M armored off-road vehicle, and several fighters with machine guns, the reporter said.

Traffic is generally normal, and a few people are on the streets.

9:33 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Rostov region governor asks residents to stay calm

From CNN's Josh Pennington

Rostov region Governor Vasily Golubev is asking residents to stay calm and to not leave their homes.

"Dear fellow countrymen! The current situation requires a maximum concentration of all efforts to maintain order. Law enforcement agencies are doing everything necessary to ensure the safety of the region's residents. I ask everyone to stay calm and do not leave your homes unless it is necessary," Golubev said in a Telegram post Saturday.

The warnings come after Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his fighters were entering the Russian Rostov region, which neighbors Ukraine. Prigozhin earlier vowed retaliation after accusing Russia's defense ministry of killing a "huge amount" of his mercenaries in a strike on a camp.

9:37 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Local Moscow journalist describes calm in city, but heightened security at government buildings

From CNN's Katherina Krebs

A local journalist said the streets appear calm in Moscow, but that there is heightened security at government agencies.

Russian journalist Vasily Polonsky told CNN people in Moscow do not appear to be afraid at all, but he heard people talking about Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin as they walk down the streets. On Friday night, he saw people out playing music, drinking and partying. He didn't see authorities asking people to leave the streets.

But Polonsky said military equipment is visible in central Moscow and there is some equipment behind the main building of the Ministry of Interior. He said he walked to most buildings of the government agencies and spotted at least one or two police cars next to each one. The most guarded building appeared to be the Ministry of the Interior. 

9:34 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Moscow accuses Wagner chief of calling for "armed rebellion." Here's the latest on what's happening in Russia

From CNN staff

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company, arrives during a funeral ceremony at the Troyekurovskoye cemetery in Moscow, Russia, on April 8, 2023.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company, arrives during a funeral ceremony at the Troyekurovskoye cemetery in Moscow, Russia, on April 8, 2023. AP

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian private military group Wagner, on Friday accused Russia's military leadership of killing a "huge amount" of his mercenary forces in a strike on a camp.

And he vowed to retaliate. "Many dozens, tens of thousands of lives, of Russian soldiers will be punished," Prigozhin said. "I ask that nobody put up any resistance."

In a later Telegram post, Prigozhin said that his criticism of the military leadership was a “march of justice” and not a coup. 

His comments prompted Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to launch a criminal case, accusing the mercenary force's chief of calling for "armed rebellion," the state news agency TASS reported.

Here's the latest on the situation unfolding in Russia:

Nations monitor the infighting in Russia: President Vladimir Putin is aware “of the situation unfolding around Prigozhin,” Russian state media TASS said Friday, as well as the investigation into his comments. In Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the country's presidential administration, tweeted "tumultuous times are coming," while Ukraine's Ministry of Defense concisely tweeted: "We are watching." In the US, the White House said it was "monitoring the situation and will be consulting with allies and partners on these developments,” according to Adam Hodge, National Security Council spokesperson.

Russian officials urge Wagner fighters to detain their leader: The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) urged Wagner Group fighters not to follow Prigozhin's orders and implored fighters to take measures to detain him. Similarly, Sergey Surovikin, Russia’s top commander in Ukraine, urged the mercenary fighters to "stop" and to "obey the will" of President Putin. "We are of the same blood. We are warriors. I urge you to stop, the enemy is only waiting for the internal political situation to worsen in our country," Surovikin was seen saying in a video posted to Telegram by a Russian state media reporter.

Russia takes steps to control the narrative: State news TV channel Russia 24 interrupted the broadcast of a program Friday night to read out a message from the Russian Ministry of Defense, stating the claims made by the Wagner mercenary group leader "do not correspond to reality." This statement has been widespread throughout Russia, even appearing on Telegram in a message from the defense ministry.

Russia steps up security: In the Russian city of Rostov near southeast Ukraine, military vehicles could be seen driving the streets. Posts were organized on Saturday in the area of ​​the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov where military personnel and law enforcement officers are keeping order, a TASS correspondent reported. The preparations were taking place as Prigozhin said his fighters were entering the Rostov region. In Moscow, security measures were also visible, according to TASS.

9:25 p.m. ET, June 23, 2023

Prigozhin claims a helicopter fired at civilians and was downed by his forces 

From CNN's Mariya Knight

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the private military group Wagner, said a helicopter fired at a civilian column and was downed by his forces.

Prigozhin did not give any further details. The claim is one of many accusations made by the Wagner boss.

The mercenary group leader, who was accused Friday by Moscow of calling for "armed rebellion," said earlier that his forces were entering the Rostov region, which is close to the Ukraine border.

CNN can not verify Prigozhin's claim of an attack on civilians or that his fighters downed a helicopter.