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Putin tried to negotiate with Prigozhin, unsuccessfully – Russian media

Putin tried to negotiate with Prigozhin, unsuccessfully – Russian media

The Kremlin had tried to reach an agreement with Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin when the latter announced a “march for justice” after claims that Russia turned on his mercenaries. However, Wagner rejected Russian President Putin’s conditions and afterward, the FSB opened a criminal case against Prigozhin, the Russian media Vazhnye Istorii writes, citing its sources in the Russian Presidential Administration.

“The Kremlin tried to negotiate with Prigozhin yesterday. He received a call from the President’s Administration (not Putin) suggesting that he should back off and that all of his reports should be explained as hacking and voice falsification,” a source close to the presidential administration told the media.

Vashnye Istorii notes that several pro-government telegram channels reported yesterday that all of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s statements are fake and the result of hacking. “Already two independent sources have told me that Wagner is being asked to explain that what happened is a hack, [and that Prigozhin’s] accounts have been hacked and his voice has been replaced by a neural network,” the Topaz Talks #ShVO channel wrote.

This message was reposted by the Rybar channel, which, however, doubted that a neural network could have faked the video of an alleged missile strike on the location where Wagner’s troops were allegedly struck by a Russian Ministry of Defense missile.

According to Vazhnye Istorii’s source, after Prigozhin refused to accept the terms of the presidential administration, Putin gave the command to initiate criminal proceedings against him and deal with the situation severely.

Wagner feud: what happened earlier

In the night of 23 June, Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin accused the Russian MoD of striking a Wagner camp and announced a “march for justice,” vowing to “stop” Moscow’s top military leadership.

Russia’s official bodies denied any accusations of a strike on Wagner’s rear; the Russian FSB opened a criminal case against Prigozhin and Russia’s top brass called upon Wagner fighters to defy Prigozhin’s orders.

In the morning of 24 June, Prigozhin, who started his career as “Putin’s chef,” claimed control over military objects in Rostov-on-Don, a city that serves as the headquarters for Russia’s war efforts in Ukraine, stating that the Chief of General Staff ran away when he saw Wagner fighters approaching.

A conflict between Prigozhin and the Russian MoD has been months in the making, and Russian military leaders have sought to limit the role of the leader of Wagner, a private military company that has played a key role in Russia’s assault on Ukrainian cities.

Prigozhin had defied a demand by Russian Defense Ministry that Wagner Group members sign contracts directly, highlighting a deepening conflict within the Russian establishment. Instead, Prigozhin drafted his own “contract” and said he was awaiting an answer from Russia’s military leadership for it. Meanwhile, the deadline for the volunteer fighters to sign contracts with the MoD, 1 July, “is likely to be a key way-point in the feud,” the British intelligence assessed.

Vladimir Putin has vowed to stop the “armed rebellion” of Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Wagner’s columns are reportedly moving on Moscow after bypassing Voronezh.

The UK Intelligence has called Prigozhin’s uprising the greatest recent challenge to the Russian state.

Prigozhin has refused to lay down arms and said that Wagner mercenaries were the true “patriots” of Russia.

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