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Kremlin spokesperson: Putin met with Prigozhin after rebellion

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 10, 2023 4:32 PM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Alexander Kazakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government via a video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 4, 2023. (Photo: Alexander Kazakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin met with the founder of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin days after Wagner's short-lived rebellion against Russian authorities, the Russian state news agency TASS cited Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on July 10.

"This meeting took place in the Kremlin on June 29. It lasted almost three hours," Peskov reportedly said.

"The details of it are unknown, but the only thing we can say is that the president gave an assessment of the company's actions at the front during the special military operation, and also gave his assessment of the events of June 24."

According to the Kremlin's spokesperson, Putin invited 35 people to the meeting, including the leadership of the Wagner Group.

The commanders of the private military company presented "their version of what happened" during the insurrection on June 23-24, while reaffirming their loyalty to the country and its leader, Peskov said.  In turn, Putin offered the Wagner leaders further options on employment and combat deployment, according to the statement.

Petro Burkovskyi: Decoding Prigozhin’s rebellion
The Wagner Group’s armed rebellion has displayed little evidence of being a successful challenge to Putin’s regime, but it has created a strong argument in support of Ukraine’s accelerated accession to NATO. The military drama that unfolded in Russia from June 23 to 24, orchestrated by Wagner

Prigozhin launched a "march for justice" against Russian military leaders on June 23 after the Russian army allegedly targeted Wagner troops in Ukraine. His mercenaries occupied Rostov and marched 200 kilometers to Moscow, only to abruptly end the rebellion less than 24 hours after its start.

As a result of an undisclosed agreement allegedly mediated by Lukashenko, Prigozhin and his contractors were allowed to leave for Belarus to avoid persecution.

On June 27, the Belarusian dictator said that the mercenary boss had arrived in the country shortly after reports that Prigozhin's business jet landed at the Machulishchy military airfield near Minsk.

Already the same day, however, the independent monitoring group Belaruski Hajun said that the oligarch's plane left back to Russia, though it was unclear whether Prigozhin was on board.

The French media outlet Liberation reported earlier on July 10 that the mercenary leader has been present in Moscow at least since July 1.

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