The decision by Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to stop his men from marching on to the capital Moscow after seizing the military headquarters in southern region of Rostov-on-don; came as a surprise because they faced zero resistance on the way to Moscow.
Prigozhin said the coup move was principally to torpedo a plan to dissolve the group and that had been achieved.
He subsequently flew to Belarus where he will live after accepting mediation from Belarusian president Alexander Lukachenko.
Putin, in his last address from Moscow before leaving for St. Petersburg, stressed that the coupists were traitors and would be defeated and that he remained in charge.
Here are some quotes and key points in his latest address:
– “We took all measures to neutralize danger”
– “We would have destroyed the armed coup in any case”
– “The organizers of the coup betrayed the homeland and the people”
– “Wagner fighters were also patriots and liberated land that belonged to the homeland and one of them tried to use them in a dark operation.”
– “Wagner operatives can sign contracts with the Ministry of Defense or go to Belarus”
– “There were extortions and attempts to arrange internal unrest, but they were doomed to failure”
– Putin thanked those Wagner soldiers who stopped at the last line and did not resort to bloodshed.
– Putin assured that the promise he made to Wagner mercenaries would be fulfilled.
– Vladimir Putin thanked Lukashenka for his contribution to settling the rebellion.
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