Putin Accuses Ukraine and Western Allies: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a televised address to the nation, accusing Ukraine and its Western allies of orchestrating a situation in which Russians would turn against each other during the recent revolt by the Wagner group. The Wagner fighters had attempted an aborted march on Moscow, posing a significant challenge to Putin’s rule. Putin expressed his gratitude to Russians for their patriotism and emphasized that he had taken steps to prevent large-scale bloodshed. In a surprising move, Putin granted amnesty to the Wagner fighters, giving them the option to join the Russian army, relocate to Belarus, or return to their homes. He thanked his security officials for their handling of the armed rebellion and highlighted civilian solidarity as a deterrent to internal turmoil. The address came amidst ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where Kyiv’s forces claimed victories against Russian troops. International reactions were closely monitored, with the United States emphasizing that it considered the matter an internal affair for Russia. Despite the crisis, the Kremlin sought to convey a return to normalcy, emphasizing that the Wagner group would continue its operations in other regions.
Putin Claims Enemies Wanted Russians to “Kill Each Other” During Wagner Revolt
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine and its Western allies of orchestrating a situation where Russians would turn against each other during the recent revolt by mercenaries from the Wagner group. The Wagner fighters had attempted an aborted march on Moscow, posing a significant challenge to Putin’s long-standing rule. In his first televised address since the rebels pulled back, Putin thanked Russians for their patriotism and emphasized that he had given orders to prevent large-scale bloodshed.
Amnesty Granted to Wagner Fighters as Putin Praises Civilian Solidarity
Putin expressed his gratitude to the security officials who handled the armed rebellion, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who was the main target of the mutiny. He stated that civilian solidarity demonstrated that any attempts to blackmail or create internal turmoil were destined to fail. In an effort to bring closure to the situation, Putin announced an amnesty for the Wagner fighters, allowing them the choice to join the Russian army, relocate to Belarus, or return to their homes.
Wagner Boss Defends Mutiny, Highlights Security Concerns
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner group, defended the aborted mutiny as an attempt to protect his mercenary outfit and expose shortcomings in Russia’s military leadership, rather than challenge the Kremlin directly. Prigozhin released an audio message, asserting that their goal was to protest and not overthrow the government. He boasted about the ease with which they had advanced on Moscow, pointing out serious security vulnerabilities in the process.
International Reactions and Continuing Conflict in Ukraine
As the situation unfolded, international observers closely monitored the events in Russia. The United States acknowledged their concerns and engaged in diplomatic conversations with Russian officials, emphasizing that they considered the matter an internal affair for Russia. Meanwhile, fighting persisted in Ukraine, with Kyiv’s forces claiming new victories in their efforts to expel Russian troops from eastern and southern regions.
Belarus Mediates and Offers Solution for Wagner Group
After mediation efforts by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin decided to call off the advance and withdraw his troops from the military base they had seized in Rostov-on-Don, a significant location in the Ukrainian conflict. Lukashenko’s unofficial Telegram channel announced that he would address the situation soon. Prigozhin revealed that Lukashenko had proposed a way to preserve the Wagner group, which plays a crucial role in Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, Africa, and the Middle East.
Return to Normalcy Emphasized, Wagner Group Continues Operations
The Kremlin stressed that the situation had returned to normalcy, with the Wagner group’s headquarters in Saint Petersburg remaining operational. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed that the mercenary outfit would continue its activities in Mali and the Central African Republic, indicating that the crisis had not disrupted their operations in these regions.
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