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    Kremlin confirms meeting between Putin and Prigozhin


    After the Wagner uprising in Russia, there were reports of a meeting between Putin and Prigozhin. Now the Kremlin is commenting on it.

    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 commanders of units and the management of the company, including Prigozhin himself,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, according to the Interfax news agency. Putin had previously described the Wagner insurgents as “traitors”.

    The media had previously reported on such a meeting between Putin and Prigozhin. 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.

    Commanders pledged continued support for Putin

    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.

    The commanders assured Putin of their support and declared that they were his soldiers, Peskov said. “They also said that they are ready to continue fighting for the motherland.”

    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, Prigozhin gave the order to withdraw.


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    Impunity for Wagner fighters and Prigozhin

    Prigozhin declared that the aim of his rebellion was not to overthrow the Russian government. Rather, it was directed against the Russian military leadership, which he has long accused of incompetence in the war against Ukraine. The Wagner mercenaries were an important support of the Russian military, especially in the fight in eastern Ukraine.

    Although Putin spoke of treason during the uprising, the Kremlin later confirmed a compromise, which, however, was conditional on Prigozhin leaving for Belarus. The Russian leadership offered the Wagner mercenaries to go to Belarus, join the regular armed forces or retire to private life. Putin also assured the Wagner group of impunity.

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