Kremlin says Putin met with Wagner leader days after abortive mutiny

The three-hour meeting took place June 29 and also involved commanders from the Wagner group.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the owner of the Wagner Group military company
Posted at 6:54 AM, Jul 10, 2023

The Kremlin's spokesman says Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin days after a short-lived rebellion by the mercenary chief and his private army.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that the three-hour meeting took place June 29 and also involved commanders from the military company Prigozhin founded.

Wagner mercenaries have fought alongside Russian troops in Ukraine. Prigozhin has a long-simmering conflict with Russia's top military brass which on June 24 culminated in an armed mutiny in which he led his fighters into Russia.

Prigozhin ended the mutiny after a deal was brokered for him to be exiled in Belarus.

Peskov said that during the June 29 meeting, Putin offered an "assessment" of Wagner's actions on the battlefield in Ukraine and "of the events of June 24." The president also "listened to the explanations of the commanders and offered them options for further employment and further use in combat," the Kremlin spokesman said.

"The commanders themselves presented their version of what happened. They underscored that they are staunch supporters and soldiers of the head of state and the commander-in-chief, and also said that they are ready to continue to fight for their homeland," Peskov said.

Yevgeny Prigozhin

Wagner boss said to be in Russia, as Moscow undermines Prigozhin

The Wagner Group forces' whereabouts are still unknown. They're said to be in Ukraine, but not fighting.


Meanwhile, a Russian airstrike on a school in southern Ukraine killed four adults as people gathered to receive humanitarian aid, the governor of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region said Monday, branding the incident "a war crime."

Three women and a man, all in their 40s, died in Sunday's attack in the town of Orikhiv, Gov. Yuriy Malashko said.

A guided aerial bomb caused an explosion at the school, Malashko said, without providing evidence. Eleven other people were wounded in the attack, he said.

Overall, Russia fired on 10 settlements in the province over the course of a day, he said.

Moscow denies it targets civilian locations. Russia has been accused numerous times of doing so and committing other war crimes since its full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022.

In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine.