Wagner uprising ended: Kremlin confirms deal with Prigozhin


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Status: 06/25/2023 01:06 am

After the uprising of the Wagner mercenary group, their boss Prigozchin and his fighters should not be prosecuted. The Russian Presidential Office confirmed that a corresponding agreement had been reached. Prigozhin will move to Belarus.

The power struggle between Russian President Vladimir Putin and mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin ended with an agreement after the Wagner fighters marched on Moscow. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Prigozhin would go to Belarus and the charges against him would be dropped. The fighters in his Wagner group would not be prosecuted either.

The agreement was brokered by Belarusian head of state Alexander Lukashenko, Peskov said. He offered his help because he had known Prigozhin personally for about 20 years. Putin agreed to that.

Avoid bloodshed

Those Wagner fighters who did not take part in the march were asked to sign contracts with the Department of Defense and participants were given immunity for their past services to the nation. Both parties stressed that they wanted to avoid bloodshed with the agreement.

Wagner fighters leave Rostov

The Wagner fighters had previously occupied the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don without resistance and then advanced in a military convoy on an hour-long journey to Moscow. According to Prigozhin, they came within 200 kilometers before he surprisingly ordered the troops back to their bases.

In the meantime, the Wagner fighters are said to have left Rostov, according to the governor. A video released by the Russian agency RIA showed Prigozhin leaving the region’s military headquarters in Rostov in an SUV.

Putin speaks of treason

Putin had previously accused Prigozhin of treason. In a speech he said: “What we see is a stab in the back”. He also announced: “All those who have deliberately embarked on the path of treason, who have prepared an armed uprising, who have taken the path of blackmail and terrorist methods will inevitably be punished.”

In Moscow, security measures were temporarily increased and blockades set up. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called on the population to stay at home and declared Monday a day off.

The situation in Russia also put the rest of the world on alert. Western countries such as the USA, Germany and France discussed the situation in crisis talks.

Sharp criticism of Shoigu

For months, Prigozhin had sharply criticized the military leadership around Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valeri Gerasimov, accusing them of incompetence. On Friday, he accused Shoigu of attacking the Wagner mercenaries from the air, killing many fighters. He also openly opposed Putin.

Prigozhin had also demanded that Shoigu and Gerasimov be deposed. However, personnel changes in the Russian Ministry of Defense are not part of the agreement, emphasized Kremlin spokesman Peskov. These stand alone in the power of Putin. “It is therefore unlikely that these issues were discussed,” says Peskow.

Selensky speaks of signs of weakness

The power struggle escalated during a potentially crucial phase of the war in Ukraine. The Ukrainian army recently launched its long-awaited offensive to recapture Russian-held territories. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Prigozhin’s uprising against Moscow a sign of weakness.

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