As the rebellion of private mercenary Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin mounted last month as a major challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s authority, the Russian Defense Ministry said the group had handed over thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to the regular army.
After announcing their march towards Moscow, Wagner’s rebellion was crushed shortly after an address to the nation by President Putin, who linked the rebellion to the 1917 Russian Civil War. Russia’s leadership is gearing up to bring the Wagner group under control.
According to the Russian ministry, it had received more than 2,000 pieces of equipment, including hundreds of tanks, and more than 2,500 tons of ammunition.
The weapons handover suggests the mercenary chief is abiding by clauses of the deal that was brokered between him and Kremlin officials by Belarus’ leader Alexander Lukashenko.
The Wagner chief is claimed by a retired four-star US general to be possibly dead or in captivity.
According to retired top US general Robert Abrams, the meeting, which took place on June 29 and was confirmed by the Kremlin a few days earlier, was false.
Earlier, Russian government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that on Monday Prigozhin and his entourage met with President Vladimir Putin, who invited 35 people to the three-hour meeting.
“All we can say is that the President has given his assessment of the company [Wagner’s] action at the front during special military operations [in Ukraine] and also gave his assessment on the events of 24th June [the day of the mutiny]Peskov told reporters.
He added that Putin had listened to the commanders’ explanation of what had happened and offered them employment and further options for the war.
“The commanders presented their version of what happened [on June 24], He emphasized that he is a staunch supporter and soldier of the Head of State and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. They also said that they are ready to continue fighting for the Motherland,” Peskov said.
Putin has so far kept Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov in office, rejecting Prigozhin’s appeals to have them sacked – at the sight of both men’s appearances on state TV.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said, “Prigozin’s failed coup attempt put a target on Russia’s back.”
“I will not insure his life … Prigozhin clearly took a chance. If you’re going to battle the king, don’t do it with a Nerf bat. He has done. It failed,” Pompeo added WABC 770 AM of radioCats Roundtable” Show.