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Russia's security services have threatened the families of the Wagner leaders before they called off their rebellion, The Telegraph reported on June 26, citing U.K. security sources.
According to the newspaper, this could have contributed to the decision of the group's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin to unexpectedly call off his march on Moscow.
The sources cited by The Telegraph also add that the Wagner troops amounted only to 8,000 rather than 25,000 troops and faced very likely defeat if they had attempted to take Moscow.
On June 23, Prigozhin launched an armed rebellion against the Russian government. The mercenary group occupied Rostov, a major regional capital, and marched all the way to the town of Kashira in Moscow Oblast before unexpectedly ending the rebellion on June 24.
Following Prigozhin's negotiations with Belarusian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko that led to Wagner's retreat, the Kremlin pledged to close the criminal case against the mercenary boss, who was set to leave for Belarus.
Despite claims on social media that Prigozhin has been spotted in Belarus's capital, Lukashenko's press service claimed it has no information as to the Wagner's founder whereabouts.
According to the Institute for the Study of War's June 25 update, the details of the deal between Prigozhin and the Kremlin are still unclear in public sources beyond speculation and gossip.