Wagner, the head of the Russian mercenary squad, has consented to live in exile in Belarus, according to the Kremlin, after President Vladimir Putin was compelled to accept an amnesty deal to end a mutiny.
The accord appeared to put an end to the immediate threat presented by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army storming Moscow, but observers say Wagner’s uprising highlighted a flaw in Putin’s administration.
On Sunday, security measures established as part of a “anti-terrorism operation” remained in place in Moscow, and Prigozhin’s exact whereabouts was unknown, although his forces had left a military headquarters they had taken in southern Russia.
The long-running disagreement between Prighozin and military top brass over the conduct of Russia’s mission in Ukraine erupted on Saturday, when Wagner soldiers seized the Rostov-on-Don base and began a long march towards Moscow.
Putin condemned the move as treason and pledged to punish those responsible, accusing them of dragging Russia to the verge of civil war – only to accept a hastily thrown-together arrangement to avert Russia’s worst security crisis in decades.