The Wagner Group agreed to end the rebellion after Lukashenko held talks with Prigozhin
MOSCOW, June 24 (IANS) Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced Saturday that he had arranged a deal whereby Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin would give up his rebellion in return for “security guarantees” for his fighters.
A statement from Lukashenko’s office said, “Yevgeny Prigozhin accepted President Alexander Lukashenko’s proposal to halt the movement of Wagner militants in Russia and take further steps to de-escalate tensions.”
According to the statement, Lukashenko and Prigozhin held talks “all day”, and “came to an agreement on the inadmissibility of a bloodbath on the territory of Russia.”
Lukashenko’s office said the talks took place in coordination with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that Prigozhin offered him “a useful and acceptable option to resolve the situation, with security guarantees for the Wagner PMC fighters,” RT reported.
This news came just as Wagner’s convoy approached Moscow, several hours after personnel in private military uniform had passed through the southern city of Rostov-on-Don. In a series of video statements released since Friday, Prigozhin announced that he was advancing on Moscow to confront Russian military officials he deemed corrupt.
Prigozhin did not get any support from the Russian establishment. Instead, Putin accused Wagner of “stabbing our country and people in the back,” while Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) opened a criminal investigation of Prigozhin for “advocating an armed rebellion.”
Prominent Russian political and military figures denounced Prigozhin’s rebellion, calling on the Wagner fighters to lay down their arms.
Shortly after Lukashenko’s announcement, Prigozhin confirmed that his forces were giving up their march on Moscow and returning to their field camps, RT reported.
san / vd