The office of Aleksandr Lukashenko announced that the owner of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has agreed to halt the march of mercenaries through Russian territory. They have also decided to take steps towards de-escalating the situation, as reported by Reuters. Prigozhin, on the other hand, stated that the Wagner Group is beginning its retreat to avoid bloodshed.
Citing an official statement from Minsk, the independent Russian portal Meduza reported that Lukashenko held talks with Prigozhin in coordination with Vladimir Putin.
Prigozhin declared that the mercenary units were commencing their retreat and heading towards field camps to prevent bloodshed.
In an audio statement, the head of the mercenary group announced that the Wagner Group had reached a distance of 200 km from Moscow and during that time “not a single drop of their soldiers’ blood was spilled.” He added that “now is the moment when bloodshed could occur,” and therefore, realizing the responsibility for such a situation, the mercenaries are starting their retreat.
“We are going back to the field camps,” Prigozhin declared.
Following an attack by Russian forces on the Wagner mercenary group on Friday, Wagner forces reportedly seized control of two key Russian cities on Saturday and started advancing on Moscow in what its leader said was a quest for justice.