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Kremlin: Situation With Wagner PMC Won't Affect Russia's Military Op in Ukraine

© Sputnik / Konstantin Mihalchevskyi / Go to the mediabankRussian soldiers undergo training
Russian soldiers undergo training - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.06.2023
Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin ordered a halt to his forces' drive on Moscow and opted for de-escalation on Saturday, accepting a proposal mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

"Under no circumstances," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists when asked whether the events with the Wagner PMC would have an impact on the operation in Ukraine. "The special military operation in Ukraine continues, our soldiers at the frontline are demonstrating heroism, they are quite effectively and successfully countering the counteroffensive of Ukraine's armed forces. And the operation will continue."

He stressed that Wagner troops engaged in the tensions won't be prosecuted, adding that those wishing to sign a contract with the Russian defense ministry in the future would be able to do so.
Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard troops march during a military parade commemorating the anniversary of the start of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, in front of the shrine of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.06.2023
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Regarding Prigozhin's status, the spokesman noted that the businessman would be allowed to leave the country.

"A criminal case [against Prigozhin] will be terminated and he will leave for Belarus. If you ask, what is the guarantee that Prigozhin could leave for Belarus, it is the word of the Russian president," Peskov told reporters.

Peskov thanked Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for his mediation in talks with Prigozhin, which were aimed at reaching the "highest goal" of avoiding the conflict.
"There was the highest goal of avoiding bloodshed, internal confrontation and clashes with unpredictable results. It is for these goals that Lukashenko's mediation efforts were made, and President Putin made a relevant decision on that," Peskov told journalists, adding that the phone call between the two presidents was sincere and "very constructive."
Presidential palace in Minsk, Belarus. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.06.2023
Prigozhin Agrees to Stop PMC Wagner March, Start De-Escalation After Lukashenko's Mediation
The presidents agreed on Lukashenko's brokering efforts since the Belarusian leader has personally known Prigozhin for around 20 years, the official stated, also noting that Lukashenko himself had proposed his talks with the Wagner head.
Peskov stated that thanks to the agreement the situation had been resolved without further losses, with members of the Wagner PMC able to return back to their field camps.

Wagner Crisis

The escalation began on Friday, when Prigozhin claimed that the Defense Ministry targeted Wagner rear camps, and announced that Wagner forces would go to Moscow to "sort out" what exactly caused said attack.
The MoD refuted such reports, deeming them a provocation, while the authorities the Federal Security Service charged Prigozhin with trying to incite an armed insurrection.
Wagner troops and military equipment travelled from their bases to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, where they held the military HQ, promising to go to Moscow.
President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation, saying that any discord must be put aside during Russia's ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, as the country's army is fighting against the Kiev regime.
Following Lukashenko's mediation, Prigozhin agreed to cease the escalation, saying he does not want to "unleash a bloody massacre" in his homeland and ordered Wagner troops to return to their bases in the Lugansk People's Republic.
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