Led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner mercenary group was employed by Russia to fight against Ukraine in the war. At the end of June, the group rebelled and began marching toward Moscow.

Here are the latest updates:

Prigozhin met with Putin five days after the rebellion, Kremlin says

Monday, July 10

Just five days after the failed rebellion, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Wagner group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin and 35 others, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said on Monday, per The Associated Press.

The meeting took place on June 29 and lasted for roughly three hours, during which time Putin gave an “assessment” of the group’s actions in Ukraine and also of the march toward the Russian capital, per AP.

Additionally, he listened to “the commanders and proposed further employment options and further combat options,” Peskov told The New York Times.

Peskov said that the group “emphasized that they are staunch supporters and soldiers” of Putin — Prighozin previously said the mutiny was against military leadership, not necessarily Putin and the Russian government.

“They are prepared to fight for the country going forward,” said Peskov.

There’s been uncertainty about Prigozhin’s whereabouts — he was meant to be in Belarus, according to a deal made with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, but on July 6, Lukashenko told CNN that the Wagner leader was “free” to go where he liked and was in St. Petersburg.

The Times reported that Prigozhin hasn’t been seen publicly since June 24.

Russian general knew about mercenary’s plans, according to U.S. officials

Wednesday, June 28

Unnamed U.S. officials told The New York Times that, according to U.S. intelligence, at least one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cabinet members knew of the rebellion in advance — although whether they were part of the rebellion or knew it through leaked information is unclear.

Intelligence gathered by the United States days before the advance said that Yevgeny Prigozhin was going to capture high-ranking Russian officials, but halted the operation once the information was leaked from an unknown source, per The Wall Street Journal.

Some Russian officials are accused of working with Prigozhin by American intelligence from intercepted electronic communications — which received a response from a Kremlin spokesperson, who called the claim “gossip,” per the Times. But U.S. officials question how seamlessly the Wagner group made its way toward Moscow without someone on the inside.

In a meeting on Tuesday, Viktor Zolotov, who heads the Coast Guard or Rosgvardia, said that his soldiers were focused in Moscow at the time, leaving the countryside open, per The Wall Street Journal.

One cabinet member is under particular scrutiny

For now, Putin is “reluctant to change people” in his leadership, Alexander Baunov, who is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, told the Times.

“But if the secret service puts files on Putin’s desk... it may change,” he finished.

Putin rebukes Wagner rebellion in new address

Tuesday, June 27

Russian President Vladimir Putin commented for the first time on Monday evening since the Wagner group stopped its advance toward Moscow.

He confirmed that charges had been dropped against the group and its leader, and gave the members of the group the opportunity to follow Prigozhin to Belarus, return to their families, or sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry, The Washington Post reported.

Prigozhin was confirmed to have made it safely to Belarus by President Alexander Lukashenko, per the Post.

Putin then addressed the reasoning for letting the group get so close to the capital. He claimed that he could have stopped the group at any time but waited to “avoid a lot of bloodshed” and “to give those who made a mistake a chance to change their minds,” per The New York Times. But it wouldn’t have gotten much farther, he said.

“All the necessary decisions were immediately taken to neutralize the threat that had arisen,” Putin said, per the Post. “An armed rebellion would have been suppressed in any case.”

Aftermath of the Russian mercenary chief’s armed rebellion

Monday, June 26

Moscow has steadily returned to normal over the weekend after the mercenary Wagner group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin halted its approach on Saturday. The blatant movement against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership has called into question his authority and the stability of Russia.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin spoke to Russian citizens on Monday and acknowledged that the rebellion was “a challenge” to the country’s stability, reported Reuters. He called for unity and loyalty to the president. Putin hasn’t commented on the situation since Saturday when he threatened to punish all involved with the rebellion.

Leaders from across the globe commented on the “cracks” within Russia’s political system following the rebellion.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the insurrection was successful in creating “more cracks in the Russian facade,” per Reuters.
  • “What has happened during this weekend shows that the war against Ukraine is cracking Russian power and affecting its political system,” Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said Monday at a summit in Luxembourg.
  • Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said that “the longer Russian aggression lasts, the more degradation it causes in Russia itself,” per The Washington Post.

More support from the European Union, along with an additional aid package from Australia, is on its way to support Ukraine in the war, the Post reported.

Prigozhin, the Wagner group leader, made a deal to leave Russia and enter Belarus, an ally of Russia. With that spotlight shed on Russia’s ally, Germany is sending soldiers to Lithuania to secure the eastern border shared with Belarus, per the Post.

Russian mercenaries stop movement toward Moscow

Saturday, June 24

Late Saturday, the paramilitary group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin halted its march toward Moscow.

As the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, Prigozhin was wanted for “betrayal” and “treason” against Russian President Vladimir Putin for turning what he said was 25,000 soldiers against the Russian government, The Associated Press reported.

Prigozhin said he was reacting to a Russian attack on Wagner camps, an act which the Russian Defense Ministry denied, per AP.

After capturing the southern city of Rostov, Wagner soldiers started moving toward the capital on Friday but stopped 125 miles away from Moscow on Saturday, per Reuters.

“Now the moment has come when blood could be spilled,” Prigozhin said in an audio recording obtained by Reuters. “Understanding ... that Russian blood will be spilled on one side, we are turning our columns around and going back to field camps as planned.”

Military vehicles began pulling out of Rostov Saturday night, per The New York Times.

Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitri S. Peskov, made the announcement that the criminal case against Prigozhin would be dropped and he would go instead to Belarus, per the Times. Other soldiers who didn’t participate in the attack would sign contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Correction: An earlier version of this story spelled Yevgeny Prigozhin’s name incorrectly.

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