Belarus leader says he talked Prigozhin back from brink

belarus-leader-says-he-talked-prigozhin-back-from-brink
Belarus leader says he talked Prigozhin back from brink

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed that he convinced Yevgeny Prigozhin to end a mutiny by his Wagner militia in an emotional phone call. Prigozhin abandoned a “march for justice” by thousands of his men on Moscow in exchange for safe passage to exile in Belarus under a deal brokered by Lukashenko. Lukashenko recounted his role in the drama to Belarusian officers and officials, hailing Prigozhin as a “heroic guy” who had been shaken by the deaths of many of his men in Ukraine.

Prigozhin’s men, who have spearheaded much of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, were pardoned and given the choice of joining Prigozhin in Belarus, being integrated into Russia’s security forces, or simply going home. Lukashenko said that Prigozhin had arrived in the southern Russian city of Rostov from Ukraine in a “semi-mad state” and had been pressured and influenced by those who led the assault squads in Ukraine and saw the deaths of his men.

With Prigozhin’s men having seized Rostov and others heading for Moscow, Lukashenko said he tried for hours by phone to reason with the Wagner chief, who has said he was furious at corruption and incompetence in the military leadership and wanted to avenge an alleged army attack on his men. Lukashenko said their calls contained “10 times” as many obscenities as normal language.

Earlier on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin had sought Lukashenko’s help, complaining that Prigozhin was not taking any calls. Lukashenko said he had advised Putin against “rushing” to crush the mutineers. Prigozhin said on Monday he had never planned to topple Putin’s government but wanted Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and the chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, sacked.

Lukashenko told Prigozhin that nobody would give him either Shoigu or Gerasimov, finally convincing him that Moscow would be defended and to continue the mutiny would engulf Russia in turmoil and grief. Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Kevin Liffey.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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