HomeLatest NewsPutin Condemns Wagner Mutiny, Offers Non-Participants Ministry of Defense Contracts

Putin Condemns Wagner Mutiny, Offers Non-Participants Ministry of Defense Contracts

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For the first time in a while, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation on Monday. This was the first address since the weekend ended with the short-lived revolt of Wagner mercenary soldiers led by Yevgeny Prgozhin.

Putin made a brief speech in which he said that the mutineers had “betrayed their country, people, and all those they brought into this matter.”

“The enemies of Russia, the Nazis and Western-sponsored Nazis in Kyiv, and other traitors wanted bloodshed.” “They wanted Russian soldiers to kill each other.” “They wanted to kill civilians and soldiers so that Russia would be defeated and our society would be ripped apart and choked by the blood of internal conflict,” Putin said.

Putin stopped short of mentioning Prigozhin by name. Earlier Monday, Prigozhin defended his short-lived insurrection.

The Wagner leader claimed he was not trying to stage a coup, but rather acted to prevent the destruction of his private military firm which played a major role in the Ukraine war.

In an 11-minute speech, he gave no information about his location or plans.

Putin’s speech was a despot trying his best to show strength to the nation, after the biggest challenge to his leadership in more than two and a half decades.

Putin thanked those who didn’t take part in the mutiny and said that many Wagner troops were also Russian patriots.

He said that the Wagner troops were “being directed (in darkness) against their brothers.”

Putin stated that “This is why, from the beginning, steps were taken to avoid bloodshed.” “We wanted to give those who made mistakes a chance to understand that they are not accepted by society, and their actions could have had destructive consequences for Russia. They were being drawn into a conspiracy.”

Putin offered Wagner troops the option to sign a contract to serve in Russia with the Ministry of Defense or to return home to their families.

“The promise I gave will be fulfilled. I repeat the choice is up to you,” he said.

The feud that has raged throughout the war between the Wagner Group’s leader and the Russian military brass erupted into a mutiny at the weekend, when mercenaries fled Ukraine to take over a military HQ in a city in southern Russia. The mercenaries rolled unopposed hundreds of miles towards Moscow on Saturday before turning back after less than 24 hours.

The Kremlin announced that it had reached an agreement with Prigozhin and his soldiers to allow them to receive amnesty in Belarus. No confirmation was given of his location on Monday. However, a popular Russian channel on Telegram claimed he was in a hotel located in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus.

Prigozhin mocked Russia’s military Monday by calling his march a master class on how they should have conducted the February 2022 Ukrainian invasion. He mocked Russia’s military for failing its duty to protect Russia by pointing out security flaws that allowed Wagner to march without resistance 500 miles to Moscow.

The bullish statements made by Lukashenko and Prigozhin did not make it clear what would happen to Prigozhin or his forces in the end.

The mutiny, though brief, was not without blood. Russian media reported several helicopters, including a communications aircraft, were shot down and at least 15 people killed by Wagner forces. Prigozhin apologized for the attack on the aircraft but claimed that they were bombing Prigozhin’s convoys.

Russian media reported that despite Kremlin’s earlier statements, a criminal investigation against Prigozhin had not been closed. Some Russian legislators also called for his removal.

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