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The Resolution of Prigozhin’s Armed Uprising

June 25, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The deal that ended the uprising went as follows, as described by Dmitry Peskov, press secretary for Vladimir Putin:

• Prigozhin is to go into exile in Belarus. Peskov said this was possible, number one, because Putin gave his word on it, and two, because Belarus President Lukashenko, who negotiated with Prigozhin, has known Prigozhin for 20 years. He stressed that June 24 was a “rather difficult day, literally filled with these tragic events.” “You know that as a result, it was possible to resolve this situation without further losses, without further escalating the level of tensions,” he emphasized.

• The criminal case against Prigozhin was dropped.

After the deal was announced, Wagner forces were reported to be leaving Rostov, where they had occupied the Southern Military District headquarters.

As for what happens to the troops of Wagner, Peskov said that those who did not participate in the mutiny will have the option of signing contracts with the Ministry of Defense. “An agreement was reached that PMC (Private Military Company) Wagner troops would return to their camps and places of deployment. Some of them, if they wish to do so, can later ink contracts with the Defense Ministry,” Peskov said. “It also applies to fighters, who decided against taking part in this ‘armed mutiny.’ ”

The spokesman also said, “there were some fighters in the military formations [of Wagner PMC], who changed their minds at the very beginning [of the armed mutiny] and returned immediately.” He added that “They have even requested the assistance of the traffic police as well as other help to return to their permanent places of deployment.”

It was rumored throughout the latter half of the day yesterday that any deal with Prigozhin would include the resignations of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov. This has not happened, and such a possibility was apparently never mentioned by Peskov. However, the famous Russian military analysis Telegram channel Rybar speculates:

“One of Prigozhin’s demands was the resignation of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov. Considering that, according to the source, the rebellion was stopped on favorable terms for the head of the PMC, there is reason to believe that in the end the leadership of the Russian Defense Ministry will be removed.”

Peskov was apparently very careful to say that the situation was resolved “without further loss” because over the course of the day, the Russian aerospace forces lost seven aircraft—six helicopters and a fixed-wing intelligence aircraft—to Wagner anti-aircraft missiles. The death toll from these shootdowns is reported to be in the neighborhood of 15-20 crew members.

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