Aircraft linked to Wagner chief lands in Belarus
The chief of Russia's Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, will reportedly move to Belarus following a deal brokered by Minsk to end the mutiny.
A plane linked to the Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin arrived in Belarus on Tuesday as per media reports.
The private jet “landed at the Machulishchi military airfield near Minsk at 07:40,” as per the Belarusian Hajun project, which tracks the country’s airspace.
The Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft departed from a location in southwest Russia that borders Ukraine, according to information from the flight tracking website flightradar24 that was given by the Hajun project.
In further detail, a second Russian private jet that had departed from St. Petersburg had also arrived in Belarus 20 minutes after the Wagner plane landed at the military base,
This comes shortly after the chief of Russia's Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, broke his silence in a Telegram audio message on Monday, two days after staging the armed mutiny, and insisted that he did not want to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prigozhin did not reveal his location but is reported to have moved to Belarus following a deal brokered by Minsk to end the mutiny.
He argued that his mutiny was aimed at saving his embattled group and bringing to justice Russia's military leadership who made "huge mistakes" during the Ukraine campaign, adding that "we went to demonstrate our protest and not to overthrow power in the country." Moreover, he claimed that the road - which saw armed fighters speed through southern Russia en route to Moscow - exposed major security issues.
Wagner's convoy came to a halt 200 kilometers (125 miles) short of Moscow, having "blocked all military infrastructure," including air bases along the way, according to Prigozhin. He claimed the group had support from locals along the way.
Prigozhin to Belarus
Prigozhin said Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko offered ways in which Wagner could continue to operate and thereby ended the armed mutiny. "Lukashenko held out his hand and offered to find solutions for the continuation of the work of the Wagner private military company in a legal jurisdiction," he said.
Read next: Wagner's mutiny has 'no excuse': Chechen leader
The Wagner chief said he had sent two columns into Russia: one to the city of Rostov-on-Don, which occupied the local army headquarters, and the second one to Moscow. He called a halt to the mutiny when the column nearing Moscow "did reconnaissance of the area and it was obvious that at that moment a lot of blood will be shed," stating that no one was killed "on the ground" during the march but admitting casualties in the air.
"We regret that we were forced to hit on aviation, but they dropped bombs and hit us with rocket fire," he said.
Prigozhin claims to have gotten as close as 200 kilometers to Moscow.