Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of Wagner, a private military company, has ordered his mercenaries to retreat from their march towards Moscow to avoid shedding Russian blood. The announcement appears to have defused a growing crisis, with Moscow preparing for the arrival of the private army led by the rebellious commander. Prigozhin stated that while his men were just 200 kilometers from Moscow, he decided to turn them back to avoid "shedding Russian blood." Prigozhin did not confirm whether the Kremlin had responded to his demand to oust Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reportedly negotiated a deal with Prigozhin, and the proposed settlement contained security guarantees for Wagner troops. The surprise development followed a day of complete chaos in Moscow as the city was preparing for war, with soldiers building outposts and military vehicles flooding the streets.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday afternoon "to discuss the situation in Russia and reiterate their continuing support for Ukrainian sovereignty." The coup initiated by Prigozhin against the Kremlin leaders overnight has seen the group take key cities and threaten President Vladimir Putin, who called them "traitors." Prigozhin was once known as "Putin's chef," but he appears to be waging war on the Kremlin. The Wagner forces were some 200 miles from Moscow, facing an evening or nighttime showdown with Russian regular forces.