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Russian Mercenary Chief Prigozhin To Move to Belarus, Case Against Him To Be Dropped

Representative Image.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, will relocate to Belarus as part of a settlement mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to put an end to a violent uprising that Prigozhin had organised against the Russian military leadership, the Kremlin announced.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval, Lukashenko had offered to mediate because he knew Prigozhin personally for about 20 years, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said on Saturday.

Peskov said the criminal case that had been opened against Prigozhin for armed mutiny would be dropped and that the Wagner fighters who had taken part in his “march for justice” would not face any action in recognition of their previous service to Russia.

The Defence Ministry has been attempting to take control of all autonomous volunteer forces by July 1, and fighters who had yet to participate would sign contracts with the Defence Ministry.

Peskov said that even though Putin had earlier threatened to punish individuals who took part in the mutiny, the deal had the “higher goal” of preventing conflict and bloodshed.

This came after the Chief of the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner, Prigozhin, said its fighters had crossed the border into Russia from Ukraine and marched toward Moscow after Kremlin accused him of armed rebellion.

He had planned to destroy everything that stood in his way as they tried to overthrow the country’s military leadership in Moscow.

This occurred at a time when the head of the Russian military contractor Wagner organisation claimed that his men had taken control of the Rostov-on-Don region, including the airport in the city, during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Putin also referred to unrest as a “deadly threat” and issued a dire proclamation.

Later on Saturday, the president of Belarus mediated between the head of the Wagner group and the Russian government to cease fire and consider a higher goal for the sake of the security and peace of the country.