Wagner mercenaries were returning to base on Sunday as their mutinous leader agreed to go into exile after President Vladimir Putin was forced to accept an amnesty deal.
The agreement appears to end the immediate threat that Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army could storm Moscow, but analysts said Wagner’s revolt had exposed a fragility in Putin’s rule. Security measures imposed under an “anti-terrorism operation” were still in place in Moscow on Sunday, and Prigozhin’s exact whereabouts were unclear.
But his troops had left a military headquarters they had seized in southern Russia, and the governor of Voronezh on their route northwards to Moscow said Wagner units were leaving the region and movement restrictions being lifted.
The long-standing feud between Prigozhin and military top brass over the conduct of the Russian operation in Ukraine boiled over on Saturday when Wagner forces seized the base in Rostov-on-Don and embarked on a long advance towards Moscow. Read more