Lukashenko Confirms Wagner Leader Seeking Refuge After Coup: 'He's In Belarus Today'

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner paramilitary group, has sought exile in Belarus following a failed insurrection in Russia, The Guardian reports.

Exile and Negotiations
Prigozhin, a former convict turned powerful mercenary, arrived in Belarus on his private jet. The Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, confirmed his arrival and revealed that he had negotiated a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop charges against the Wagner group in exchange for their disarmament and Prigozhin’s exile.

Belarus Offers Refuge
Lukashenko offered the Wagner troops an “abandoned base” in Belarus, stating that his country could assist them in any way possible. He also claimed to have dissuaded Putin from executing Prigozhin, emphasizing the Wagner group’s combat prowess and experience in various global conflicts.

Future of Wagner Group
Putin announced that the Wagner group would be disbanded, giving its members the option to join the Russian defense ministry, retire, or move to Belarus. Lukashenko expressed interest in the potential military insights the Wagner soldiers could offer Belarus, particularly regarding combat tactics and weaponry.

Wagner’s Legacy in Russia
The Kremlin, which had previously denied any association with the Wagner group, admitted to financing the paramilitary force to the tune of 86bn roubles ($1bn) in the past year. Putin also pledged to investigate how these funds were spent. In the wake of the failed insurrection, Russia is bolstering its internal security forces with heavy weapons and tanks.

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Posted In: NewsMediaAlexander LukashenkoRussiaRussia-Ukraine WarVladimir PutinYevgeny Prigozhin
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