The leader of the mercenaries engaged in a rebellion against Putin said his forces had agreed to withdraw after being told they would be expelled from Russia and Ukraine.
Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny V. Prigozhin announced that his troops marching towards Moscow would turn back shortly after the leader of Belarus said he was in talks with Mr. Prigozhin on a deal to “defuse the tension”.
Negotiations between Mr. Prigozhin and President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus have opened up the possibility that the rapidly evolving security crisis that is confusing the Russian government could be resolved without armed fighting. But Mr Prigozhin did not immediately say whether his forces were leaving the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, where his forces had seized major military and civilian buildings.
The “truce” would include:
These negotiations also reportedly included a “stipulation” that the majority of Wagner PMC forces would be redeployed out of Russia and Ukraine to Africa.
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) June 24, 2023
No one should ever believe Putin’s assurances to them, because Russia is a serial dealbreaker, and there could be many more shoes to fall in the immediate future.
Having Wagner’s brutal mercenaries in Africa is bad news for the people there, but from Ukraine’s point of view, getting Wagner out of Ukraine is nothing but a plus.
Wagner’s forces were better fighters against the Ukrainians than the Russians, and if the mercenaries left, it would be anotherr blow to Russia.
The last 24 hours have revealed that Biden’s Ukraine strategy is working. Russia is in crisis because of the war in Ukraine. Putin loses both at home and abroad.
There is nothing good in the last 24 hours for Putin. The fact that these events happened is bad for the Russian authoritarians.
This story is far from over. Putin has never looked weaker. The last day exposed it to the world, the West and Ukraine should feel they have momentum, because internal tensions are not new in Russia, but the endgame could begin for Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Jason is the editor. He is also a member of the White House press pool and a congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in political science. His graduate studies focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association