Putin lays out options for Wagner soldiers in national address

The majority of the fighters of the Wagner group are patriots of Russia, and they were simply used, Putin said.

1 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation on June 26, 2023. (Kremlin press release)

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a national address on Monday urged the members of the Wagner private military group to sign contract with the country’s defense ministry, return home or go to Belarus.

The majority of the fighters of the Wagner group are patriots of Russia, and they were simply used, Putin said in his address to Russian citizens Monday night.

“We knew that the vast majority of the fighters and commanders of the Wagner group are also Russian patriots, devoted to their people and state,” he said, while stressing they were used without their knowledge during the armed mutiny.

The president noted that the organizers of the mutiny in Russia betrayed the country and those who followed them and “an armed rebellion would have been suppressed in any case.”

He proposed the soldiers of the Wagner group to sign contract with the country’s defense ministry, return home or go to Belarus.

Meanwhile, Putin thanked all Russian servicemen, law enforcement officers and special services who prevented the mutiny.

“I thank all our servicemen, law enforcement officers, special services who stood in the way of the rebels. You have remained faithful to your duty, and the people,” Putin said.

He also thanked Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for his mediating role in resolving the attempted mutiny.

Russia’s National Anti-terrorism Committee announced on Saturday that a counter-terrorist operation regime was introduced in Moscow city, the Moscow region and the Voronezh region to prevent possible terrorist acts after the Wagner private military group was accused of trying to organize an armed rebellion.

However, according to local reports, Moscow and Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner private military group, later reached a compromise through the mediation of Lukashenko.

Russia’s National Anti-terrorism Committee declared on Monday that the legal regime of the counter-terrorist operation had been canceled in Moscow, the Moscow region and Voronezh region due to the normalization of situation.

Xinhua News Agency

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