Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in the Kremlin after the paramilitary group’s failed mutiny last month, Russian media reported.
« This meeting took place in the Kremlin on June 29. It lasted almost three hours, » Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. She said Monday, according to state-run Ria Novosti news.
Prigozhin rebelled against the Russian military establishment on 23 June, capturing the city of Rostov-on-Don the next morning and sending his Wagner Group mercenaries marching towards Moscow. The mutinous warlord only had his tanks reverse course when they came within 200 kilometers of the Russian capital and threatened to plunge the country into civil war.
Thirty-five people were invited to attend the high-stakes Moscow meeting, including « all commanders of military detachments » and Prigozhin, Peskov said.
During the meeting in the Kremlin, Putin « summed up the action of the company » on the front line in Ukraine and the « demonstrations of [the rebellion on] June 24, » the spokesman said.
Wagner commanders were then offered « further options for deployment and further combat use, » Peskov said, adding that the paramilitaries said they were « ready to continue fighting » for Russia.
“Putin listened to the commanders’ explanations and offered them additional options for employment and further combat use,” Peskov added.
After the mutiny was halted following talks between Prigozhin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, who negotiated a takeover of the mercenaries, leader Wagner was expected to be exiled to Belarus.
However, he has not been seen in public since. Lukashenko initially confirmed that Prigozhin had appeared in Belarus, before later saying that he wasn’t actually there – and might as well be in Russia.
Usually very active on social media, warlord-turned-oligarch Prigozhin has been low-key since the end of the mutiny, appearing only a couple of times on Telegram.
Wagner troops have been involved in some of the bloodiest fighting in Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including the town of Bakhmut which was shelled for months by invading Russian forces throughout the winter and spring .
This story is being updated.