The criminal case against Wagner Private Military Company (PMC) founder Evgeny Prigozhin will be dropped and he will leave Russia, the Kremlin announced on Saturday evening.
Spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed that Prigozhin, a Saint Petersburg tycoon who made his initial fortune in catering, “will go to Belarus.” He did not elaborate on what the businessman will do in the East European state.
He added that Wagner’s fighters will not be prosecuted, taking into account their efforts on the frontlines of the Ukraine conflict. Peskov explained that President Vladimir Putin’s team “have always respected their exploits.”
PMC contractors who refused to take part in the mutiny – and whole units did not – will be allowed to sign contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry, Peskov stated.
Wagner launched a major mutiny in Russia overnight, seizing control of the Southern Military District headquarters in the city of Rostov-on-Don, as well as advancing towards Moscow. The insurrection was stopped late on Saturday, following talks between Prigozhin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, with the PMC leader agreeing to return his units to their “field camps.”