Russian President Vladimir Putin met on June 29 with the leader of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, after the failed rebellion that the mercenaries staged a few days earlier, as the Kremlin reported today.
“The meeting took place in the Kremlin and lasted for almost three hours,” according to the few details revealed on Monday by the spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov, at his daily press conference.
Another 35 people were present at that meeting, including commanders of Wagner’s units, and Putin offered “his assessment of the company’s performance at the front, in the framework of the special military operation (in Ukraine) and also of the events June 24”, alluding to the riot led by Prigozhin.
In turn, Putin listened to “the commanders’ explanations” and offered them employment options, according to the Kremlin spokesman. “The commanders themselves presented their version of what happened and stressed that they were staunch supporters and soldiers of the head of state and the commander-in-chief (Putin). They also said that they were ready to continue fighting for the homeland,” Peskov added.
No pictures of Prigozhin
Since Prigozhin rebelled against the Kremlin on June 24, he has not been seen again, although he has published audio messages broadcast on the “Grey Zone” Telegram channel, close to the Wagner group.
On June 27, the President of Belarus, Alexandr Lukashenko, confirmed his arrival in that country, to which the members of Wagner and their leaders were supposed to travel, according to an agreement reached with Russia, with the mediation of the Belarusian president, whom Peskov himself appreciated his role as mediator.
After this agreement, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) closed the criminal investigation against Prigozhin for “armed rebellion”, considering that “the participants stopped actions directly aimed at committing a crime” and the Kremlin assured that mercenaries would not be either. persecuted.
However, last Thursday, Lukashenko affirmed that Prigozhin was in Russia, which put into question the fulfillment of the agreement and the fate of the powerful head of the mercenaries. In a conversation with Belarusian and foreign journalists, Lukashenko reported that Prigozhin was in St. Petersburg, his hometown.
On the other hand, this Monday the Russian Ministry of Defense has published a video in which you can see the chief of the General Staff, Valeri Guerasimov, one of the targets of the Prigozhin rebellion. Wagner’s boss lashed out on the 24th against the military leadership, mainly Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gerasimov, whom he accused of being bureaucrats and whom he blamed for the failures in the war in Ukraine.
After the mutiny, his continuity in office was called into question. The Kremlin spokesman had referred to them, pointing out that their fate depended on Putin: “these matters are the exclusive prerogative and within the competence of the Supreme Commander in Chief.”
Since then, both Shoigu and Gerasimov have reappeared in public, in their respective positions, but the Kremlin has yet to show Prigozhin.