Russia Crisis: Prigozhin Agrees to Withdraw Wagner Mercenaries, Potential End to Coup Attempt

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Riga/London - Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, announced on Saturday evening that his forces had reached an agreement to stand down their coup attempt in Russia. In a voice memo shared on social media, Prigozhin expressed concern over the potential bloodshed that could result from their actions. As a result, the Wagner convoy will return to their basecamps in Ukraine, according to the plan.

The Kremlin has yet to confirm whether it has granted permission for Prigozhin's forces to retreat, raising questions about the accuracy of the statement. Meanwhile, Belarus claims to have brokered a deal with Prigozhin to halt the advance on Moscow.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reportedly spent the entire day negotiating with Prigozhin, following discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Belarus' press service announced that Prigozhin accepted Lukashenko's request to stop the movement of armed individuals from the Wagner company on Russian territory. The statement further mentioned the possibility of de-escalating the situation with security guarantees for the Wagner fighters, without providing specific details.

No official confirmation has been received from Prigozhin or the Kremlin regarding the agreement with Belarus. However, an official press release from the Belarusian government claims that Prigozhin has agreed to de-escalate tensions and halt the movement of private military contractors (PMCs) to Moscow, following negotiations with President Lukashenko.

The release stated that President Putin briefed President Lukashenko on the situation involving the Wagner PMC in southern Russia. After joint discussions, Lukashenko engaged in talks with Prigozhin, reaching agreements throughout the day. These agreements emphasize the importance of preventing a bloody massacre on Russian soil. Prigozhin accepted Lukashenko's proposal to halt the movement of armed individuals from the Wagner company within Russia and take further steps to de-escalate tensions.

The Belarusian government describes the current situation as a profitable and acceptable option for resolving the crisis, ensuring security guarantees for the Wagner PMC fighters. Additional meetings with Belarus' power bloc were held to address the situation.

As the news develops, the international community awaits official confirmation from Prigozhin, the Kremlin, and other relevant parties regarding the halt of the coup attempt and the withdrawal of the Wagner forces. The implications of this potential resolution could have significant repercussions for Russia's political stability and its relationship with neighboring countries.

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