Putin hails Russian troops for stopping civil war
The Russian President says Wagner fighters did not win the support of the Russian people or its army.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told troops gathered on Tuesday at the Kremlin that they prevented a civil war after the June 24 attempted armed mutiny by the Wagner group and held a minute's silence for pilots killed during the latest events.
"You de facto stopped civil war," Putin told troops from the Defense Ministry, National Guard, FSB security service, and Interior Ministry.
He addressed them inside the Kremlin's Cathedral Square, standing on a red carpet and facing men in different uniforms.
"You proved your loyalty to the people of Russia and the military oath. You showed responsibility for the fate of the motherland and its future," the Russian leader expressed.
He continued, "In the confrontation with rebels, our comrades-in-arms, pilots, were killed. They did not flinch and honourably fulfilled their orders and their military duty."
Putin considered that Wagner fighters, who were approaching Moscow before their chief Yevgeny Prigozhin called the mutiny off, did not win the support of the Russian people or its army.
"People who were drawn into the rebellion saw that the army and the people were not with them," he said.
In the same context, the Russian President noted that Moscow did not redeploy any soldier from the special military operation zone to counter the mutiny.
"We did not have to take combat units from the special military operation zone," he affirmed, stressing that "all military formations continued to wage a heroic fight at the front during that time."
On June 24, Wagner PMC chief Yevgeny Prigozhin announced on his Telegram channel storming the Rostov region and taking over the military headquarters in response to what he claims was a Russian attack on his troops earlier under the orders of the Defense Ministry, while the Ministry rejected his accusations.
Prigozhin called on the group's supporters inside the Russian Federation to join his movement and rebel against Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, as well as the Chief of Staff and commander of the military operations in Ukraine Army General Valery Gerasimov.
On Saturday, the Belarusian presidential office announced that Prigozhin accepted the proposal of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to stop the movement of Wagner fighters in Russia and take further steps to de-escalate the situation.
Later on the same day, the Kremlin confirmed that Prigozhin will move to Belarus as part of the deal brokered by Lukashenko. Furthermore, a criminal case against the Wagner chief was dropped.
Peskov also noted that Wagner fighters who did not partake in the mutiny will sign contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry, while those who did participate won't be prosecuted.