Russian mercenary leader Prigozhin’s commanders pledge loyalty at Kremlin after short-lived mutiny

July 11, 2023

Putin gave an assessment of Wagner’s actions on the battlefield in Ukraine — where the mercenaries have fought alongside Russian troops — and of the revolt itself. Though the Russian leader branded Prigozhin a traitor as the revolt unfolded and vowed harsh punishment, the criminal case against the mercenary chief on rebellion charges was later dropped. Prigozhin has not commented on the Kremlin meeting, and his ultimate fate remains unclear, particularly since Monday’s announcement shows much is negotiated behind closed doors. Throughout the war, Prigozhin has criticized decisions made by Russia’s top military brass, leading to tensions with the Kremlin that culminated in the June 24 mutiny. Putin has given options to Prigozhin’s fighters: fight as part of the regular Russian army, retire from service or join Prigozhin in Belarus.