President Wagner confirms the cancellation of the advance on Moscow (second lead)
MOSCOW, June 25 (IANS) The Wagner Group’s private military company (PMC) is returning to its “field camps,” PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was quoted in a media report.
Its units launched a rebellion overnight, seizing several military and administrative facilities in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, in addition to launching an advance towards Moscow, Russia Today reported.
Prigozhin said that the rebellion had reached the brink of great bloodshed, explaining that Wagner’s advancing columns would return to their camps “according to plan”.
They wanted to dissolve PMC Wagner. On June 23rd we went on the One Day Justice Walk. In Moscow, we advanced only 200 kilometers, and during this time we did not shed a single drop of blood from our fighters, ”according to what was reported by Russian media.
During the mutiny, however, the military special forces reportedly shot down several aircraft and repeatedly clashed with Russian forces.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced Saturday that he had arranged a deal whereby Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin would give up his rebellion in exchange for “security guarantees” for his fighters, media reported.
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 fighters.”
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 into Prigozhin for “calling for armed rebellion”.
Prominent Russian political and military figures denounced Prigozhin’s rebellion, calling on the Wagner fighters to lay down their arms.
The media reported that shortly after Lukashenko’s announcement, Prigozhin confirmed that his forces would abandon their march on Moscow and return to their field camps.
san / sha