Wagner Group mercenaries surrender weapons to the Russian military, signaling a significant change after recent rebellion against the Kremlin’s authority, says the Defense Ministry.
In a remarkable turn of events, the disarmament of Wagner unfolds as a strategic maneuver to diffuse the looming threat it once embodied, signaling the possible cessation of the mercenary group’s formidable presence on the Ukrainian battleground.
Amidst the prevailing ambiguity surrounding the destiny of Wagner’s enigmatic leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and the intricate terms of the agreement that quelled the armed rebellion, granting amnesty to him and his mercenaries while permitting relocation to Belarus, these actions now come to light.
The Defense Ministry divulges a staggering array of relinquished armaments, comprising over 2,000 pieces of machinery, including tanks, rocket launchers, formidable artillery, and air defense systems.
Furthermore, an astonishing cache of more than 2,500 metric tons of munitions and an impressive arsenal of over 20,000 firearms were dutifully surrendered.
Sign Contracts, Seek Refuge or Gracefully Retire From Their Service
Putin presents Wagner troops with a choice: contracts, Belarus, or retirement. The Kremlin confirms Putin’s meeting with Prigozhin, leader of troops marching for top military leaders’ removal. Questions arise about the rebellion’s deal.
Putin condemns revolt as treason, yet drops charges against Prigozhin hours later. Wagner chief may still face prosecution for financial misconduct or other offenses.
Belarus offers Wagner field camps, deployment pending Prigozhin and Russian government decisions. Swift capture of Rostov-on-Don in mutiny, “march of justice” to oust military leaders.
The mutiny encountered feeble resistance, resulting in the striking downfall of at least six military helicopters and a command post aircraft, tragically claiming the lives of a minimum of ten airmen. Once the deal was struck, Prigozhin promptly commanded his troops to retreat to their respective camps, marking a temporary end to their daring campaign.
In a seismic rebellion, Putin’s authority took a significant blow, but Prigozhin claimed it targeted Shoigu and Gerasimov, not the president. Despite the turmoil, both officials kept their positions.
Observers speculated that Prigozhin’s demand protected them, as their dismissal would be seen as conceding to Wagner’s influence.