After the uprising of the Wagner mercenaries
Kremlin confirms meeting between Putin and Prigozhin
07/10/2023 2:09 p.m
Five days after the end of the Wagner mercenaries’ rebellion, Russian President Putin met their boss Prigozhin. The Kremlin has now officially confirmed this. Commanders and the management of the company also took part in the three-hour meeting.
The Kremlin has confirmed reports of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin after his revolt against the military leadership in June. “Indeed, the president had such a meeting, he invited 35 people to it – all the commanders of units and the management of the company, including Prigozhin himself,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the Interfax news agency. Putin had previously described the Wagner insurgents as “traitors”.
During the three-hour meeting, both sides presented their view of events when the Wagner troops briefly rehearsed the uprising. The commanders assured Putin of their support and declared that they were his soldiers. “They also said that they are ready to continue fighting for the motherland.” No information was available on Prigozhin’s statements, nor was there a statement by the mercenary chief himself.
For days, international experts had been speculating about the future of Prigozchin and his Wagner troupe, which is also important for the Kremlin in Africa and the Middle East. According to Peskov, the debate lasted three hours and took place on June 29 – several days after Prigozhin’s failed revolt against the military leadership. During the conversation, Putin gave his assessment of both Wagner’s activities on the battlefield in Ukraine and during the June 24 uprising. The Kremlin chief also listened to the Wagner officers’ version of the uprising.
Putin assures Wagner troops of impunity
On June 24, after accusing Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of attacking the military camps of his private army, Wagner boss Prigozhin had his units occupy the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and at the same time sent a military column towards Moscow. During their advance on the Russian capital, the Wagner troops shot down several helicopters and an airplane; several crew members died. In the evening, after negotiations with the Kremlin, in which the ruler Alexander Lukashenko acted as mediator in Belarus, Prigozhin gave the order to withdraw.
Although Putin spoke of treason during the uprising, the Kremlin later confirmed a compromise, which, however, was conditional on Prigozhin leaving for Belarus. The Wagner mercenaries would then decide whether to leave the country as well or continue to fight alongside Russia in Ukraine after signing new contracts with the Defense Ministry. Putin also assured the Wagner group of impunity.