Russia’s Putin snubs Prigozhin, Biden quips about poison By Reuters

© Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin spaeks to reporters of state tv in Moscow, Russia July 13, 2023. Sputnik/Alexander Kazakov/Kremlin by way of REUTERS

By Man Faulconbridge

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russian President Vladimir Putin supplied Wagner mercenaries the chance to maintain combating at a gathering simply days after their failed mutiny however instructed Yevgeny Prigozhin be moved apart in favour of a distinct commander, the Kommersant newspaper mentioned.

Putin initially vowed to crush the June 23-24 mutiny, evaluating it to the wartime turmoil that ushered within the revolutions of 1917, however hours later a deal was clinched to permit Prigozhin and a few of his fighters to go to Belarus.

Thriller surrounds the destiny of that deal in addition to the destiny of Wagner, one of many world’s most battle-hardened mercenary forces, and Prigozhin, a former convict who rose to grow to be referred to as “Putin’s chef” and Russia’s strongest mercenary.

The Kremlin mentioned on Monday that Putin had held talks with Wagner commanders and Prigozhin at a gathering on June 29, 5 days after the mutiny. The mercenaries, the Kremlin mentioned, reaffirmed their loyalty to Putin.

However Kommersant, one among Russia’s high newspapers, revealed Putin’s remarks to its most skilled Kremlin correspondent, Andrei Kolesnikov, which instructed the way forward for Prigozhin and Wagner was doubtful.

“However Wagner doesn’t exist,” Putin instructed Kommersant when requested if it might be preserved as a combating unit. “There isn’t a regulation on personal army organisations. It simply would not exist.”

Putin then associated particulars in regards to the June 29 Kremlin assembly with 35 Wagner commanders at which he instructed a number of choices for them to proceed combating, together with {that a} senior Wagner determine recognized by his nom de guerre “Sedoi” – or “gray hair” – take over command.


“Sedoi” is a extremely adorned veteran of Russia’s wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya. He’s from St Petersburg, Putin’s dwelling city, and has been pictured with the president.

“All of them might have gathered in a single place and continued to serve,” Kommersant quoted Putin as saying. “And nothing would have modified for them. They’d have been led by the identical one that had been their actual commander all that point.”

Putin mentioned that lots of the commanders had nodded their head at his suggestion however Prigozhin, who was sitting on the entrance, didn’t see this, Kommersant mentioned.

“‘No, the boys will not agree with such a call’,” Putin quoted Prigozhin as saying.

The remarks don’t seem in an official Kremlin transcript of feedback Putin made to Kolesnikov and a state tv reporter on Thursday. Prigozhin didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Prigozhin has not been seen in public since leaving the southern Russian metropolis of Rostov on June 24.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday mentioned america was not sure the place Prigozhin was however quipped that the mercenary chief might be poisoned.

“If I had been he, I’d watch out what I ate. I’d be retaining my eye on my menu,” Biden mentioned, based on White Home transcript.

“However all kidding apart, I — I — who is aware of? I don’t know. I don’t suppose any of us know for positive what the way forward for Prigozhin is in Russia.”

For months earlier than the mutiny, Prigozhin had been overtly insulting Putin’s most senior army males, utilizing quite a lot of crude expletives and jail slang that shocked high Russian officers.

The mercenary has repeatedly insisted his actions on June 23-24 had been aimed solely at settling scores with the highest army brass who he mentioned had been dropping the Ukraine battle for Russia. He mentioned he was not difficult Putin or the Russian state.

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