Putin’s Offer to Wagner Mercenaries Nods Approval, Except for Prigozhin: Latest Updates

2023-07-14 00:49:00

Mercenaries nod, boss refuses Putin describes Prigozhin’s reaction at meetings

07/14/2023 02:49 am

After the revolt of the Wagner private army on June 24, Russia’s president met several commanders of the mercenaries in the Kremlin. According to his own statements, he makes them an offer to continue fighting in Ukraine. Many would then have signaled approval. Not so Prigozhin.

According to his own statements, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the mercenaries of Wagner’s private army after their revolt against the military leadership to continue fighting in Ukraine under their own command. “Many nodded when I said that,” Putin described a meeting in the Kremlin with Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army, according to the daily Kommersant (Friday).

The article in “Kommersant” refers to a meeting between Putin and 35 people on June 29. So it must be the meeting that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed earlier this week. Prigozhin himself is said to have been present in the Kremlin. What he said was not yet known.

“And Prigozhin, who was sitting in front and didn’t see that…”

According to Putin’s account, however, Prigozhin did not notice his commanders’ nods. “And Prigozhin, who was sitting in front and didn’t see it, said after listening: ‘No, the men don’t agree with such a decision.'” Putin is quoted as saying by “Kommersant”. Putin gave the quotes to a correspondent for the daily newspaper on the sidelines of the Future Technologies Forum in Moscow’s World Trade Center. Whether Putin’s retelling of the dialogue sequence and seating arrangement is correct cannot be verified.

The Wagner mercenary force fought for months alongside regular Moscow troops in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. She gained notoriety through the months of fighting for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

At the end of June, however, after an alleged attack by Russian troops on the Wagner camp, Prigozhin had the city of Rostov-on-Don occupied and sent military columns towards Moscow. At the time, Putin spoke of “treason.” Shortly before Moscow, after negotiations with the Kremlin, in which Belarus’ ruler Alexander Lukashenko acted as mediator, Prigozhin ordered the withdrawal.

In “Kommersant,” Putin indirectly admitted that the Russian leadership deliberately relied on an illegal organization in the war against Ukraine. “We don’t have a law on private military organizations… The group exists, but legally it doesn’t exist,” said the Kremlin chief.

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