Prigozhin, Wagner leader, to move to Belarus after mercenary uprising

The Kremlin has reportedly struck a deal with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of Wagner Group and a former ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to end the paramilitary rebellion that his mercenary group waged on Saturday. Prigozhin and his troops marched across Russia before stopping just short of Moscow, claiming that they did not want to shed Russian blood. In exchange for his exile to Belarus, Prigozhin will not face criminal prosecution, according to a Kremlin spokesperson. Those troops who did not join the rebellion will be offered Defense Ministry contracts. The uprising marked the most significant threat to Putin's power in over two decades, but Prigozhin's decision to halt the march has apparently defused the situation. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, a close Putin ally who has also known Prigozhin for a long time, spent all day Saturday negotiating with him. Prigozhin has openly criticized Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and dubbed it a "racket," but he did not directly criticize Putin in his public statement. The Wagner Group's rebellion began on Friday, and Putin formally accused Prigozhin of treason and issued a warrant for his arrest on the next day. By Saturday, the group had apparently gained control of military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, a city 660 miles south of Moscow where Russia's operations in Ukraine are managed. The mercenary group was also reportedly in Lipesk province, just 225 miles south of Moscow. Moscow had been bracing for violence, with residents fleeing, city officials warning people to stay home, and workers destroying highways leading into the city.


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