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Wagner Troops ‘Turning Back’ to Avoid Spilling ‘Russian Blood’: Prigozhin

Fighters of Wagner private mercenary group stand beside an armoured vehicle in the street in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on June 24, 2023. (Reuters).

 The mutinous Wagner mercenary group members began leaving Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia on Saturday night.

After seizing control, a Reuter reporter observed Wagner soldiers leaving the district military headquarters.

After Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was said to have mediated a settlement, Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin declared his forces would retreat to their bases to prevent bloodshed.

Prigozhin had intended to remove the army’s top leaders and “restore justice.” Putin said that the revolt ought to be quickly put down.

According to the office of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the Wagner militia chief reportedly agreed to defuse the situation after speaking with Prigozhin about Putin’s agreement.

In an audio message released by his press service, Prigozhin said:

“They wanted to disband the Wagner Military company. We embarked on a march of justice on June 23. In 24 hours, we got to within 200 km of Moscow. This time, we did not spill a single drop of our fighters’ blood.”

“Now the moment has come when blood could be spilled. Understanding responsibility [for the chance] that Russian blood will be spilled on one side, we are turning our columns around and going back to field camps as planned.”

Meanwhile, according to the chief of the Wagner group, his troops will relocate to Belarus as part of the agreement. It was organized against the Russian military leadership to end a violent uprising.

In addition, the Russian defence minister has been attempting to take control of all autonomous volunteer forces by July 1.