BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalJune 24, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 24, 2023
1 year ago

Breaking: Russian Rebels Make Major Shift in Plan After Talks with Belarus President

In a shocking turn of events, the Russian "civil war" appears to be over before it started.

Multiple outlets, including The Associated Press, are reporting that the private Russian military force Wagner Group has halted its march on Moscow.

This dramatic turnaround seemingly quells one of the largest political and military challenges that Vladimir Putin has faced during his 11 years as Russia's president.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, made the announcement Saturday.

The Wagner head cited an aversion to "shedding Russian blood" as a reason for pulling his troops back, despite being a mere 120 miles from the Russian capital.

The sudden change in heart is being attributed to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who claims to have helped negotiate a deal with Prigozhin.

Lukashenko reportedly spoke to Putin about this deal.

While details on the negotiations are scarce, one thing that Prigozhin did negotiate was a "security guarantee" for his troops.

[firefly_poll]

It was unclear whether one of Prigozhin's demands, the removal of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, had been agreed to.

The short-lived uprising began in earnest Friday after Prigozhin claimed that Russians were mismanaging Ukrainian war efforts, as well as killing his men.

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied killing Wagner Group troops.

Regardless, it didn't take long for the rebels to quickly gain ground and capture key sites.

By all indications, the Kremlin was scrambling and caught off-guard as the private mercenary force aggressively captured the Russian military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don, a city just 660 miles south of Moscow.

Critically, those headquarters run Russian operations in Ukraine.

When this uprising began, Prigozhin described Wagner's efforts as "not a military coup, but a march of justice," the BBC reported.

The AP noted that bad blood had been brewing between Wagner and the Defense Industry for a while now.

Prigozhin had previously refused to comply with a requirement that Wagner sign contracts with the ministry by the end of June. Prigozhin did note that he was willing to reconsider this refusal, but blasted Defense Ministry for having "treacherously" cheated them.

While Prigozhin may have turned his men around from storming Moscow, it's unclear what is next for the group.

Putin has promised swift and powerful retribution for any who participated in the mini-coup, but Wagner forces are also critical in the ongoing war efforts against Ukraine.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal

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