What Happened in Russia: The Wagner Crisis, Explained
A fast-moving crisis occurred in Russia over the weekend
On June 24, 2023, a fast-moving crisis unfolded in Russia as [Russian President] Vladimir Putin faced an apparent insurrection from a former ally, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, and the Russian mercenary fighters he leads.
For the moment, things appear to be calming down, as the forces answering to Prigozhin, the Wagner Group chief, have halted their march toward Moscow and turned around. The development came after an agreement between Prigozhin and Putin was brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. Criminal charges previously started against Prigozhin will be dropped, and the Wagner boss will go to Belarus, Peskov said.
Still, the dispute represents a significant challenge to Putin’s leadership, the potential loss of one of Putin’s most successful field commanders, and a possible shift in the course of the war in Ukraine.
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