Russia after the ‘Wagnerazo’: the police search houses, the television calls for unity and the Chechens return to the front

by archynewsycom
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While the Russians digest the most turbulent weekend in two decades of putinismthe capital of the country continues under a special police regime and normalcy returns little by little to the south of the country, where the problems began.

During the night of Saturday heavily armed mercenaries withdrew from the city of Rostov, in southern Russia, under a deal that defused an unprecedented challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s authority. The Wagner leader, Evgeny Prigozhin, halted his rapid advance on Moscow when he had covered most of the way from his southern stronghold.

Chechen fighters sent to Rostov to deal with Prigozhin’s men headed back to their positions on the Ukrainian front. But one of the access bridges to the capital, that of Koloma, was still closed on Sunday morning, blocked by more than 20 vehicles placed on Saturday to stop the advance of mutinous mercenaries.

The media remain very attentive to any gesture by Vladimir Putin: some adjustment in the military leadership after these difficult hours. The television channels avoid stressing that the Kremlin has agreed with the mutineers instead of defeating them. “It is important that people on both sides, who are ready to give their lives for Russia, do not start killing each other in a senseless massacre. Those who wanted blood so badly did not get it. Russia once again passed its test of maturity, and the strength of the unit remained unbreakable,” he said in his program Vesti Weekly the call chief propagandist of Russia, Dimitri Kiselev.

Moscow was calm on Sunday, with Red Square closed but otherwise little evidence of further security measures. Monday has been declared a non-working day in the Russian capital to give room to recover normality. In Saint Petersburg, the country’s second city, the police presence is felt in all the key points of the center.

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