President Vladimir Putin has held Kremlin talks with Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin and his commanders to discuss the armed mutiny Wagner attempted to mount against the army’s top brass, Putin’s spokesman said on Monday.
The meeting was first reported by French newspaper Liberation, which said Prigozhin had met Putin and the head of the National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, and SVR Foreign Intelligence boss Sergei Naryshkin.
The meeting, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, was held on June 29, five days after the aborted mutiny, which is widely regarded to have posed the most serious challenge to Putin since he came to power on the last day of 1999.
Peskov told reporters that Putin had invited 35 people to the meeting, including Prigozhin and Wagner unit commanders, and that the meeting had lasted three hours.
“The only thing we can say is that the president gave his assessment of the company’s (Wagner’s) actions at the front during the Special Military Operation (in Ukraine) and also gave his assessment of the events of 24 June (the day of the mutiny),” Peskov told reporters.
He said Putin had listened to the commanders’ own explanations of what had happened and had offered them further options for employment and combat.
“The commanders outlined their version of what happened (on June 24). They emphasised that they are staunch supporters and soldiers of the head of state and the supreme commander-in-chief. They also said that they are ready to continue fighting for the Motherland,” said Peskov. [Continue reading…]