The Kremlin revealed today that the Russian president, Vladimir Putinmet with Wagner’s mercenary boss Evgeny Prigozhin on June 29, five days after the Wagner group marched on Moscow in their attempted rebellion.
Prigozhin attended the meeting accompanied by several Wagner commanders. They all told Putin that they were his soldiers and would continue to fight for him, the Kremlin says. A total of 35 people attended the meeting, which lasted three hours.
Prigozhin has already clarified that the mutiny was not aimed at overthrowing the Russian government but “bring to justice” the army and the defense leadership for what it considers mistakes and lack of professionalism in Ukraine.
Wagner’s boss backed off his mutiny and agreed to go to Belarus, under the terms of the deal forged by the Belarusian president. But Alexander Lukashenko He said last week that Wagner’s boss was back in Russia and that Wagner’s fighters have yet to accept an offer to relocate to Belarus. To this day, doubts remain about the implementation of the agreement that put an end to the riot.
In the meeting with the Wagners, Putin listened to the commanders’ explanations of what had happened and offered them other options to continue working and fighting, Kremlin spokesman Dimiti Peskov said.
Right after the uprising, Putin publicly claimed that the mutiny of Wagner’s mercenaries was a treason. He compared it to the turmoil in the run-up to the 1917 Russian Revolution and later praised his troops for avoiding what he said could have been a civil war. But in practice has avoided punishing the mutineerswhile his media downplay the uprising and its effects while eroding Prigozhin’s popularity.
The meeting was first disclosed by the French newspaper ‘Liberation’, which said that Prigozhin had met with Putin and the head of the National Guard, Viktor Zolotov; and also with the head of the SVR Foreign Intelligence, Sergei Naryshkin. “The only thing we can say is that the president gave his assessment of the company’s actions [Wagner] at the front during the Special Military Operation and also gave his assessment of the events of June 24 [el día del motín]”Peskov told reporters.
Since an agreement was negotiated to defuse the riot, the Kremlin has tried to project an image of normalitywith Putin chairing a series of meetings, cheered by crowds in Dagestan and even inviting a Russian girl on a guided tour of the Kremlin.
The news of the meeting of the heads of Wagner with Putin is known hours after the chief of the General Staff of Russia. Valery Gerasimov, appear on video for the first time since the failed riot on June 24. Gerasimov is, along with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Prigozhin’s main internal rival. For several months before the mutiny, Prigozhin was openly insulting both of them.