Putin met Wagner leader Prigozhin days after failed uprising

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the mercenary force Wagner group, and 35 of its commanders amidst questions of the group’s future following a failed rebellion against Russia’s military leadership.

The meeting: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that Putin hosted a three-hour meeting with the Wagner chief and unit commanders on June 29.
* During the meeting, Putin assessed the failed rebellion, while Wagner leadership justified their motives and reassured their continued allegiance to Russia.

The aftermath: Despite the rebellion, Putin has presented himself as the victor in the conflict, insinuating that the event provided a reason to closely scrutinize the state funds allocated to Prigozhin over time.
* Following the rebellion, state media extensively covered police raids on Prigozhin’s Saint Petersburg residence.
* Putin also highlighted his role in an amnesty deal that granted Prigozhin and his fighters exile in neighboring Belarus, a move he said helped prevent further violence.

Current state: Belarus’ leader has said that Prigozhin is back in Russia and the Wagner fighters had yet to move to Belarus, casting doubt on the agreed terms of the amnesty deal.
* This uncertain situation arises as Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s Chief of General Staff, who was targeted for removal by the rebels, has resumed his post, conducting Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

The question: Wagner’s future seems unclear, with its loyalty towards Russia promised, but its ultimate role remaining undecided.

View original article on NPR

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