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Mercenary Group Leader To Quit Russia As Kremlin Drops Case Against Him

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Militia leader Yevgeny Prigozhin who turned his Wagner force against the military leadership in Moscow, will leave for Belarus and a criminal case against him will be dropped, the Kremlin said Saturday.

“Avoiding bloodshed, internal confrontation, and clashes with unpredictable results was the highest goal,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Under the agreement, brokered by Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko, Wagner fighters will not be prosecuted, Peskov added. “We have always respected their heroic deeds at the front.”

An agreement has been reached that Wagner would return to its bases,” Peskov said, adding that those fighters who had not participated in the rebellion would be allowed to formally join the Russian army.

Prigozhin called off his troops’ advance toward Moscow on Saturday, pulling Russia back from its most serious security crisis in decades.

The feud between Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russia’s military top brass had boiled over Saturday, with mercenaries capturing a key army headquarters in southern Russia and then heading north to threaten the capital.

Peskov also said it was “out of the question” that Wagner’s aborted rebellion would impact Russia’s campaign against Kyiv.

Moscow was grateful to Lukashenko for his role in mediating the crisis, he added.

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